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Driving While Sleepy: Endemic In Young People, D.C. Drivers

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For D.C.'s overworked populace, driving while sleepy is all too common.
Michael Galvosky: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mindgutter/3179832991/
For D.C.'s overworked populace, driving while sleepy is all too common.

One in seven licensed drivers under 25-years-old admit to nodding off while driving in the past year, according to a new survey by AAA. It estimates that young drivers are 78 percent more likely than drivers between the ages of 40 and 59 to be drowsy during a crash.

"What we discovered to our shock and we are never shocked, young drivers are the biggest sleepyheads on the road," says John Townsend, with AAA Mid-Atlantic.

But it's not just young drivers who are nodding off behind the wheel. AAA found 30 percent of all drivers struggled to keep their eyes open on the road, just in the past 30 days.

"Sleep is one of those things that's very deceptive," says Townsend. "The white line on the highway can hypnotize you and lull you into sleep."

Townsend says drowsy driving is a big problem in the D.C. Metro area.

"We're some of the most overworked people in the world, most stressed out people. And a lot of that stress comes not only from our jobs, but from our commutes," says Townsend.

He says drivers in the region are more likely than those anywhere else in the country to fall asleep behind the wheel.

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