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Drowsy driving is more dangerous and costly than previously thought, new study shows

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Who would you rather have as an Uber driver: someone who's had a few beers, or someone coming off an all-nighter?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, that's not as clear a choice as you might think.

 A NHTSA study released Monday found that drowsy driving led to $109 billion in damages last year.

The death tolls vary by study, but a Governors Highway Safety Association study (funded by State Farm Insurance) found 5,000 people were killed in the United States at the hands of drowsy driving.

The tricky part? It's hard to tell just how widespread drowsy driving is.

If people are in a crash caused by drowsy driving, they often don't report it for fear of paying more in insurance, GHSA reports.

Unlike driving drunk, law enforcement officers may not be as prepared to identify sleepy drivers. 

And it can be hard for some people to avoid, due to the millions of people who work nights or long or unusual shifts.

These GHSA infographics put the problem in stark terms. (All photos courtesy of GHSA)

Be honest: Have you driven after more than 18 hours awake in the past month?

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