Watch Out of Office on our YouTube Channel

Getting One Less Hour of Sleep Can Double Your Crash Risk the Next Day

In everything from looking younger to feeling sharper in morning meetings, we’re all aware of the benefits of sleep by now.

That doesn’t mean we do anything about it, though; most of us don’t get the recommended seven hours that we should.

But, as CBC reports, a new study now says that lack of sleep can majorly increase your crash risk.

The American Automobile Association says that missing one to two hours of sleep out of the recommended seven could double your crash risk the next day. Missing two to three hours of sleep can quadruple your risk of crashing.

“This is roughly equal to being over the legal limit of alcohol,” Ian Jack from the Canadian Automobile Association told Matt Galloway Friday on CBC Toronto’s Metro Morning.

Yet, we all do it. And – unlike cases where alcohol is involved – most people think nothing of driving while sleep-deprived.

crash risk

While Canada’s statistics on sleepy driving aren’t as up-to-date, the last figures – from 2010 – reveal that 20 per cent of fatal collisions involved fatigue.

As Jack told CBC, an annual survey reveals that fatigue ranks fifth among the concerns of Canadian drivers. The top concern, unsurprisingly, was texting, followed by impaired driving.

It seems everyone I know – from the pavement-pounding entrepreneurs to the new parents – tries to make it their mission to survive on as little sleep as humanly possible.

“People are aware it’s an issue, they just don’t prioritize it as much,” said Jack.

crash risk

Jack advises people to be aware of their level of drowsiness, especially during the holidays, when long drives home to see the family are in order. It’s also something to keep in mind come the summer, when cottage weekends and spontaneous road trips start up again for the season.

If you’re lacking in the sleep department, you may want to let someone else drive, or take an alternative means of transit.

Of course, a morning commute on the TTC is no walk in the park after four hours of sleep either.

So, yeah, maybe just get more sleep.

Notable Life

Canada’s leading online publication for driven young professionals & culture generators.