Young People Most Likely to Drive While Drowsy

A new study shows that young drivers are much more likely than older drivers to fall asleep while driving.

One in seven drivers between 16 and 24 admitted to nodding off while driving in the past year, according to a new survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. One motorist in 10 overall admitted to falling asleep.

Although 80 percent of people say drowsy driving is a serious safety concern, nearly a third say they have struggled to keep their eyes open while driving at least once in the last 30 days.

Since at least the mid-1990s, studies have found a correlation between youth and falling asleep behind the wheel. Although the definition of young driver has differed in various studies, the research has consistently shown that the youngest drivers are most likely to be drowsy drivers. Experts believe this is because of lifestyle with many high school and college students involved in extracurricular activities, working part-time jobs and studying late at night.

Regardless of age, those who work at night or have changing work schedules are also more likely to nod off.

Some experts say rolling down the window or singing along to music will help, but others say the only effective strategy is pulling off the road and getting sleep.