This new data shows that the amount of crashes caused by drowsy driving is eight times higher than federal estimates indicated.
In fact, the number of drowsy driving crashes boils down to about 10 percent of all crashes.
In this study, researchers used in-vehicle dash cam videos to examine drivers' faces in the three minutes leading up to more than 700 crashes.
A recent AAA Foundation survey found almost all drivers, or 96 percent, said they viewed drowsy driving as a serious safety threat.
"Don't be fooled, the only antidote for drowsiness is sleep", said William Van Tassel, manager of Driver Training for AAA.
"We recommend that if you are so exhausted you can't keep your eyes open, you're drifting from the lane, you can't remember the last few miles that you've driven", Schwind said.
It's very common too with the CDC saying 35 percent of US drivers not getting the recommended seven hours of sleep at night.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had reported in 2017 that driver drowsiness was involved in 1.4% of all police-reported crashes, 2% of crashes resulting in injuries and 2.4% that resulted in death from 2011 to 2015. And drivers should certainly avoid medications that cause drowsiness. Schwind said the prevention to drowsy driving is getting at least seven hours of sleep. "You know it's time to pull over and maybe take a 20 minute cat nap in a rest area".
Part of the problem is that many Americans need to change their lifestyles to sleep more, said Jennifer Pearce, a Virginia resident whose sister Nicole Lee was killed in a drowsy-driving crash in 2008.
AAA says the discrepancy with the government's figures is likely due in part to people not recognizing or self-reporting to authorities that they were exhausted before a crash. "Short term tactics like drinking coffee, singing, rolling down the window will now work".
"It can be hard for law enforcement to determine that drowsy driving has occurred after a crash; some drivers are reluctant to say that they fell asleep behind the wheel".