Researchers say that driving when sleepy increases the risk of a car crash resulting in serious injury or death by eight times.A team at the University of Auckland studied 500 drivers and passengers admitted to hospital, or who had died, between 1999 and 2000. A furthe r400 drivers using the region's roads in the same period were used as a control group.
Drivers reporting sleepiness were eight times more likely to be involved in a serious car smash, while those who reported five hours or less of sleep during the previous 24 hours had a threefold increased risk. Driving in the small hours - between 2am and 5am - led to a five fold increased risk of having a serious accident. The take home message is - fatigue is hazardous on the roads.