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Study: 1 in 24 Drivers Fall Asleep Behind the Wheel

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The economic and societal harm from motor vehicle crashes amounted to a whopping $871 billion in a single year, according to a study released Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. credit: David McNew/Getty Images

The economic and societal harm from motor vehicle crashes amounted to a whopping $871 billion in a single year, according to a study released Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. credit: David McNew/Getty Images

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NEW YORK — This could give you nightmares: 1 in 24 U.S. adults say they recently fell asleep while driving.

And health officials think the number is probably higher. That’s because some people don’t realize it when they nod off for a second or two behind the wheel.

In a government study released Thursday, a little over 4 percent of U.S. adults said they fell asleep while driving at least once in the previous month. Some earlier studies reached a similar conclusion, but the survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was far larger.

The study found drowsy driving was more common in men and in people ages 25 to 34.

The results are from a survey of 147,000 adults in 2009 and 2010.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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