After reports that Kevin Roper, the truck driver charged in the accident that killed a man and critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan, had been awake for more than 24 hours prior, the question arises: what is the connection between sleep deprivation and dangerous driving?
Safety analyst and former U.S. Transportation Department inspector general Mary Schiavo appeared on "New Day" Tuesday to discuss why driving with little to no sleep is worse than most would suspect, and what the trucking industry can do in order to prevent more fatalities.
"Being sleepy has effects on the body worse than being drunk," Schiavo said.
Schiavo cited a 2012 study from Harvard Medical School, which found that "drowsy driving" causes approximately 1 million crashes each year in the United States. According to Schiavo, tired truckers alone are responsible for approximately 4,000 highway deaths annually.
Truckers, Schiavo said, often work 80 hour weeks.
"It's impossible to make up for that sleep," she said. "You just can't catch up for that punishing schedule."
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