LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A surprising new study has found that crashes caused by drowsy drivers likely occur at a rate that is eight times higher than federal estimates.

According to the study released Thursday by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, researchers determined that 9.5 percent of all crashes in the U.S. are the result of drowsiness.

This is significantly higher than numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which determined that 1.4 percent of all crashes are caused by drowsiness, the AAA Foundation said.

To compile their numbers, researchers analyzed data from nearly 3,600 drivers who voluntarily allowed them to monitor their driving with in-vehicle cameras and data collection equipment for several months between 2010 and 2013.

From that pool, the researchers studied more than 700 crashes and analyzed the drivers in the three minutes leading up to a crash to determine their level of drowsiness.

“Drivers who don’t get enough sleep are putting everyone on the road at risk,” Dr. David Yang, executive director for the AAA Foundation, said. “By conducting an in-depth analysis using video of everyday drivers, we can now better assess if a driver was fatigued in the moments leading up to a crash.”

To read the full study, click here.

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