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Police ID Man Found Dead Outside Hotel in Southbury


A 50-year-old man was found dead in a car outside the Heritage Hotel in Southbury just after 8 a.m. Monday and the medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to deternine the cause of his death.

Troopers responded to the hotel at 8:15 a.m. and found David Keefe inside a 2010 Kia Soul, according to state police.

Police are investigating and said there were no signs of foul play. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Dakota Access Pipeline Halted After Months Of Protest


A months-long standoff between the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Standing Rock Sioux tribe ended Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016 after the Army Corps of Engineers declined to grant the permit to extend the pipeline beneath Lake Oahe in North Dakota.

Rhode Island Woman Seriously Injured in Thompson Hit and Run


A Rhode Island woman was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver on Interstate 395 in Thompson Sunday night, according to state police.

Police said the victim, identified as Meredith Shaw, 32, of Scituate, RI, pulled over her vehicle on I-395 north near exit 53 and was standing outside on the shoulder when she was hit.

Troopers found Shaw lying in the road around 9:15 p.m. She was taken to a Massachusetts hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

Police did not have a description of the suspect vehicle but said the passenger side of the vehicle will likely have headlight and fender damage.

Anyone with information on this crash should contact State Police Troop D at 860-779-4900 ex. 2020.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Oakland Building Fire Among US's Deadliest in 50 Years


Dozens of people were killed Friday when an Oakland warehouse that was used as an unsanctioned residence and event space went up in flames.

The death toll at "The Ghost Ship," as the warehouse was called, is the seventh highest of any building fire in the last 50 years, NBC News reported. Thirty-six bodies have been recovered, with more expected to come.

The two deadliest fires came after massive explosions: The September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the bombing in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. The buildings burned after the initial blasts in both instances, killing more.

The next deadliest building blaze took place nearly 40 years ago, leaving 165 dead at a supper club in Kentucky in May 1977. And fires at a night club, social club and a Las Vegas casino also left more dead than in Oakland.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Snow Delayed Hundreds of Schools


Hundreds of school started late Monday as light snow coated the roads early Monday morning.

Rosita Cross, of Bristol, was surprised when the call came that school was delayed for two hours.

“My phone rang and it said, 'Bristol Public Schools' and I was like, 'Excuse me? And I looked outside and it snowed,” she said.

Instead of putting her children on the bus, she drove them there.

“Better safe than sorry, you know? Delay the school so you don’t got to be rushing,” she said.

Bristol Mayor Ken Cockayne said schools decide to postpone the beginning of the school day to give crews a chance to get things ready for the students and staff. 

“The Board of Ed makes the call and a lot of times it’s because they have to be able to clean up their sidewalks and get ready for the school to come in so even though the streets may be clear a lot of times, the maintenance people at the school hane to be able to clean off the sidewalks,” Cockayne said.

Fortunately, the roads were clear enough to keep the existing bus routes in New Britain.  

“You know we have some tight, narrow streets here especially if it’s slick," Supt. Nancy Sarra, of the New Britain Consolidated School District, said. "Although we look outside right now and it really isn’t much, it was really the timing of it.”

Another quick round of snow and rain is possible Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

The theme of the long-range forecast is an active pattern – every few days, something is on the map near Connecticut.

A potent cold front could bring a snow shower Thursday or Friday morning, but more importantly, much colder air blows into the state.

Temperatures will only be in the 30s this weekend. Another round of snow showers is possible Sunday.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Stormtrooper Misses the Mark in Police Recruitment Ad


Is the police force with you? Well, intergalactic combat experience may not be enough to qualify as a candidate for the Fort Worth Police Department, at least according to a new recruitment video.

The clip features an officer attempting to teach a stormtrooper how to shoot. He finds the trooper's lack of accuracy disturbing.

"Stop jerking the trigger," the officer says before firing a series of rounds into the dead center of the target.

The department is capitalizing on the excitement over the upcoming release of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" to draw applicants to its next civil service exams, which are scheduled for Jan. 10-11.

It's not the first time the department used "Star Wars" to help with recruitment. Last year police posted a video that showed Darth Vader interviewing for a position

Dakota Pipeline Protesters Remain Wary of What's to Come


Celebrations followed in the wake of the federal government’s announcement Sunday that it would not permit the completion of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe, who lives on land adjacent to the construction project, and the thousands who’d gathered in Cannon Ball, N.D., to protest the pipeline saw Sunday’s news as a victory.

But some say they’re celebrating with caution, as NBC News reports, because with a new presidential administration right around the corner, the federal government may change its position.

President-elect Donald Trump, who has been shown to have financial ties to the pipeline construction company, Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, would have the power to impact or change Sunday’s decision.

Photo Credit: Scott Olson, Getty Images

Police Investigating Armed Robbery at New Haven 7-Eleven


New Haven police are investigating an armed robbery at 7-Eleven on Foxon Boulevard on Sunday. 

Police responded to the 7-Eleven at 400 Foxon Boulevard at 2:41 p.m. Sunday to investigate a robbery in progress and two store employees said the robber asked for two lottery tickets and walked to the self-service food island after the clerk completed the transaction. 

As the clerk waited on other customers, the robber came around the counter and toward the register, but the clerk said the area was for employees only. 

At that point, the robber pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded he open the register. When the clerk did, the robber grabbed a handful of cash, then ordered the employee to the floor, police said. 

Another employee was watching the robbery unfold on surveillance monitors from the manager’s office. 

Police said the crook ran through the front door and no store employees or customers were harmed. 

The robber was a bearded man, between 5-feet-8 and 5-feet-10, has an average build and wore a black hooded sweatshirt under a black jacket, dark jeans and white sneakers. 

He has a glove on his right hand and held a black “Glock” type pistol. 

Witnesses said he went east on Eastern Street. 

No one was hurt during the robbery and police are trying to identify the person responsible.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Stratford Roommates Advertised Prostitution Online: Police


Two Stratford roommates who are accused of advertising prostitution on Backpage.com were arrested on prostitution and drugs charges after raids at their home, police said. 

Police said they searched 295 First Ave. in September and again on Nov. 28 and arrested Ariel Perry, 46, and Kathleen Cox, 31. 

They were advertising prostitution on Backpage.com and are accused of using their home for prostitution and to sell heroin and cocaine, according to police. 

During the search, detectives seized heroin, cocaine, scales and what they referred to as “items related to prostitution.” 

Perry was charged with possession of heroin with intent to sell, possession of crack cocaine with intent to sell and was charged with prostitution. She was held on a $500,000 dollar bond. 

Cox was arrested and charged with possession of heroin with intent to sell, possession of crack cocaine with intent to sell, promoting prostitution and conspiracy to commit prostitution. She was s released on a $100,000 dollar bond. 

Police said she also has an extraditable warrant out of Kentucky for drug offenses.  

A 47-year-old Norwalk man was also at the residence and had two probation violation warrants, so he was held on a $10,000 bond.

All three are scheduled to appear in Bridgeport Court on Dec. 8.

Photo Credit: Stratford Police

Woman Injured After Police Chase in Danbury Has Died: State Police


A 26-year-old Danbury woman who was injured when a stolen car she was in flipped during a police chase in Danbury last week has died, according to police. 

A Danbury police officer who was working an extra-duty job at Main and Center streets saw a car he knew was stolen at 10:35 a.m. in Thursday, Dec. 1 and approached the 1997 Ford Explorer, but the driver -- 32-year-old Ricardo Andre, of Danbury -- and his passenger, 26-year-old Tiffany Fitzgerald, fled, according to police. 

The officer, 38-year-old Jamie Hodge, a one-year-member of the department, then got into his personal vehicle, went after the stolen car and called into dispatch, police said. 

Andre went south on Mountainville Road, hit a State Traffic Commission sign, and a utilty pole. and went off the road in the area of 13 Mountainville Road and rolled over, police said. 

Police said the Ford Explorer rolled over and landed in a driveway.

Andre got out of the car but Fitzgerald was thrown from the vehicle, sustaining serious injuries, police said. 

Andre and Fitzgerald were both transported to Danbury Hospital to be treated for serious injuries. Fitzgerald died on Sunday, according to state police.

State Police are investigating and Danbury Police are conducting an internal investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call state police at 860-779-4917 or email gregory.trahan@ct.gov.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

2 Firefighters Hospitalized in 4-Alarm Fire at JCC in Woodbridge


Two firefighters responding to a four-alarm fire at crowded Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven in Woodbridge have been hospitalized, officials said. 

The fire started around 3:30 p.m. on the bottom floor, possibly near a sauna area, according to Judy Diamondstein, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven.

There were about 150 people in the building at 360 Amity Road at the time of the fire, Diamondstein said.  Those inside included infants and children at the JCC's child care center.

The building was evacuated safely and everyone was moved to the Brookdale assisted living facility next door, according to Diamondstein.

Amity Road, also knows as Route 63, was closed as firefighters from multiple towns battled the blaze.

The firefighters' condition are not clear.

The damage to the sauna area appears to be significant, Diamondstein said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Fatal Shooting at New Haven Basketball Court Under Investigation


A fatal shooting at a New Haven basketball court is currently under investigation, police said. 

At 2:41 p.m., EMTs reported to the basketball court behind 24 Victory Drive for a cardiac arrest patient, New Haven police said. 

Officials quickly determined that the man had suffered a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The death is being investigated as a probable homicide, police said. Witnesses are being interviewed but there has been no known description of any perpetrators reported to police. 

Anyone with information is asked to call (203) 946-6304. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Judge: Prosecutors Can Use Bill Cosby's Deposition at Trial


Damaging testimony that Bill Cosby gave in an accuser's lawsuit, including admissions that he gave young women drugs and alcohol before sex, can be used at his criminal sex assault trial, a judge ruled Monday.

The defense had insisted that Cosby only testified after being promised he wouldn't be charged over his 2004 encounter with accuser Andrea Constand. But his lawyers at the time never had an immunity agreement or put anything in writing.

"This court concludes that there was neither an agreement nor a promise not to prosecute, only an exercise of prosecutorial discretion," Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill wrote in his ruling.

Cosby, 79, acknowledged in the 2006 deposition that he had a string of extramarital relationships with young women. He called them consensual, but many of the women say they were drugged and molested.

The release of the deposition testimony last year prompted prosecutors to reopen Constand's 2005 criminal complaint.

Cosby, asked about the 2004 encounter at his home with Constand, described being on his couch and putting his hand down her pants.

"I don't hear her say anything. And I don't feel her say anything. And so I continue and I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. I am not stopped," he testified.

Prosecutors describe Constand as being semiconscious after Cosby gave her three unmarked blue pills for stress.

The ruling on the deposition is one of two key pretrial issues that will determine the scope of the evidence against Cosby at trial. The other question is how many other accusers will be allowed to testify in prosecutors' attempt to show a pattern of similar conduct. Prosecutors hope to call 13 additional women who say they were assaulted by Cosby as far back as the 1960s. Two days of arguments on that issue are set for next week.

The release of the deposition testimony last year prompted prosecutors in suburban Philadelphia to reopen accuser Constand's criminal complaint and charge Cosby with felony sexual assault.

O'Neill has suggested that Cosby's decision to testify at the deposition could have been strategic. The actor -- known as America's Dad for his top-rated family sitcom, "The Cosby Show," which ran from 1984 to 1992 -- could have invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself. But jurors would have heard of that decision if the case went to trial.

Cosby instead settled Constand's lawsuit, for an undisclosed amount, after finishing four days of testimony about his extramarital affairs, his friendship with Constand and other topics.

In another excerpt, Cosby described a phone call with Constand's mother a year later, when he refused to say what the pills were.

"I'm not going to argue with somebody's mother who is accusing me of something," he testified. "And I'm apologizing because I'm thinking this is a dirty old man with a young girl. I apologized. I said to the mother it was digital penetration."

Cosby also described getting seven prescriptions for quaaludes in the 1970s, which he said he kept on hand to give women he hoped to seduce, "the same as a person would say, 'Have a drink.'"

Constand had met Cosby at Temple University when she managed the women's basketball team. He was a prominent booster and university trustee. She went to police in 2005 to report that he had sexually assaulted after taking what Cosby described as an herbal product.

The defense will fight strenuously to block the testimony of the other women, arguing that their accounts are vague, decades old and impossible to defend. They also say Cosby is legally blind and can no longer recognize his accusers or help with the defense.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Oakland Warehouse Fire Recovery


The search for victims in the charred wreckage of an Oakland warehouse resumed on Monday after a brief break due to safety concerns, with 36 bodies recovered so far in what's become the city's deadliest blaze.  

Authorities have tentatively identified 33 of the bodies, officials said at news conference Monday afternoon, but witheld most of their names. The families of 16 victims have been notified and five more are pending notification that their loved ones were among the dozens killed.

The death toll from the "Ghost Ship" warehouse that burned down Friday is expected to rise as firefighters continue a painstaking search for victims.

Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern speculated that about 50 people associated with the area are still unaccounted for.

Flames quickly consumed the warehouse-turned-residence in East Oakland that was hosting a party, leaving the structure a mess of blistered wood and twisted steel.

President Barack Obama sent prayers to the victims of the "awful tragedy" and their families Monday and said his administration was ready to assist local and state agencies.

"While we still don't know the full toll of this disaster, we do know that an American community has been devastated, and many people – including young men and women with their whole futures ahead of them – have tragically lost their lives," Obama said in a statement.

Seven names have been released to the public; the other names have not been released so that families can take a moment to grieve, Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy Tya Modeste said at a news conference early Monday. One of the dead includes the son of a sheriff's deputy; others were born outside of the United States.

Three of the victims were foreigners from Finland, Korea and Guatemala, officials said.

The investigation into the fire and recovery of the bodies from the illegally converted warehouse on East 31st Avenue was stopped temporarily Sunday night because a leaning wall at the charred building was deemed too unsafe to continue, officials said. 

Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton said early Monday that crews had to stop working about midnight Monday because of "stability issues" at the warehouse: "We can't risk a piano or a a large appliance from coming down on firefighters."

Recovery efforts were cleared to continue Monday morning, Oakland police representatitve Johnna Watson said. Seventy percent of the building had been searched by the time of the stoppage. 

Also, at noon, PG&E turned off power in the surrounding area, which was expected to last for about 12 hours so that a crane could come in and conduct work at the warehouse.

The fire ripped through the warehouse on Friday about 11:30 p.m. and the cause remains unknown, but occupants saying the place was a "deathtrap," littered with junk, electrical wires and butane cooking tanks. Artists, musicians and mostly 20-somethings had gathered for an electronic dance party, one of countless such gatherings throughout Oakland over the years.

The warehouse was an artist's "labyrinth" full of art, wooden structures, tapestries, musical equipment and other relics. People had been illegally living and partying there, according to witness statements, interviews and records.

The blaze burned for hours and has cast a pall over the entire California Bay Area. Survivors described chaos inside the building as flames quickly burned through the two-story space. The power cut out and smoke filled the halls.

"I feel like it was 30 seconds from when I looked down the hall to when it was pretty much engulfed. It was so fast," warehouse resident Nikki Kelber recalled.

She and a friend, Carmen Brito, were able to get out of the building along with others.

"We all looked out for each other, we all helped each other," Brito said of the people who lived at the space.

Drayton said Monday it appeared the "extremely hot fire" may have started in the back of the building and burned underneath the dance floor.

"We've got some areas where the steel is actually twisted and wrapped," she said.

The deadliest fire in Oakland history until Friday, the Oakland Hills Firestorm, took place in 1991, when about 3,000 homes were destroyed and 25 people killed.

A criminal investigation was launched by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office on Sunday into possible criminal negligence.

District Attorney Nancy O'Malley on Monday said the investigation was just beginning and that charges could range from murder to involuntary manslaughter.

O'Malley said anyone with information about the warehouse and the people living there can call a hotline the DA's Office has set up at 877-288-2882.

Many in the artist's community are now focusing their anger at Derick Ion Almena, the founder of the collective who escaped the fire. His wife and children were at a hotel when the fire broke out.

Almena also has a criminal history.

People had long complained to him that his enclave was unsafe, and he had simply laughed it off, according to many comments on a now-deleted Facebook post.

Immediately after the fire, he had written to lament the fact that "everything I had worked so hard for is gone." Commenters excoriated him for not being sensitive to the loss of life.

On Monday, he sent a statement to NBC News that read: "In my previous Facebook post, I had no idea there was a loss of life. This tragic event consumes me every moment. My heart is broken. My heartfelt condolences to the family and friends who have suffered the loss of loved ones."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

Man Who Left Water Bottle After Eli Lilly Drug Heist Sentenced to 7 Years


A 51-year-old Cuban man who left a major clue behind after the massive pharmaceutical heist at the Ely Lilly warehouse and storage facility in Enfield in 2010 has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Amed Villa, his brother, Amaury Villa, and several others pleaded guilty to a federal charge related to the biggest heist in Connecticut history after $80 million worth of prescription drugs were stolen from the warehouse the night of March 3, 2010.

Authorities said Amed Villa was the one to leave his water bottle behind. That clie helped them unravel a mysterious crime that sounded like something out of Ocean's 11.

The thieves propped a ladder against the warehouse the night of March 3, 2010, climbed onto the roof, cut a hole in it, dropped down into the warehouse and disabled its alarm. 

There, prosecutors said, the thieves loaded more than 40 pallets of prescription drugs – including thousands of boxes of Zyprexa, Cymbalta, Prozac, Gemzar and other pills worth tens of millions of dollars – into the back of a tractor-trailer.

The stolen drugs were found in a Florida storage facility more than a year later.

Enfield police chief Carl Sferrazza called the heist "the largest theft we've ever had, not only in Enfield, but probably the largest pharmaceutical theft the country has ever seen."

Another accomplice rented a hotel room in Flushing, New York, where he and Villa bought tools to use in the heist, and he drove Villa from Florida to Connecticut and back, according to prosecutors.

Federal authorities said their investigation revealed that Amed Villa and others also stole more than $13.3 million in pharmaceuticals from the GlaxoSmithKline warehouse in Colonial Heights, Virginia, in August 2009; more than $8 million in cigarettes and a cargo trailer from a warehouse in East Peoria, Illinois, in January 2010; approximately $7.8 million in cellular telephones and multimedia tablets from the Quality One Wireless warehouse in Orlando, Florida, in January 2011, and more than $1.5 million in cigarettes from the Coremark Cigarette Warehouse in Leitchfield, Kentucky, in March 2011.

During each of the thefts, Villa and his co-conspirators got into the warehouse through the roof, disabled the alarm system and loaded the stolen goods into tractor trailers, federal authorities said. 

Amed Villa’s DNA was identified on items discarded during the thefts in Connecticut, Illinois, Florida and Virginia.

Amed Villa, who had been living in Miami, has been detained since he was arrested on May 3 and pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit theft and an interstate shipment and five counts of theft from an interstate shipment.

Amaury Villa, Nunez, Marquez and Lopez also pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the Eli Lilly warehouse theft and have been sentenced.

Community Quick to Help After Fire at Woodbridge JCC


As flames spread inside the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven in Woodbridge on Monday, act of kindness were spreading all around it.

According to Judy Alperin Diamondstein from the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, the JCC staff has been conducting emergency drills for weeks and when it came time to put their work to the test, they executed beautifully.

“I was very, very proud of what an amazing, efficient job our staff did,” said Diamondstein.

Approximately 300 people were inside the JCC when the fire started, including infants that attend the JCC’s preschool. Their safe evacuation became a top priority.

“We had babies in cribs that we were wheeling across the parking lot. Everybody took a baby, said Diamondstein.

The JCC staff wheeled them right over to Bookdale Woodbridge, a neighboring senior living facility. They were right in the middle of dinner, when the cribs came to their back door.

“First we heard sirens and the next thing we see is babies in cribs being pushed in,” said Brookdale Resident Care Associate Roxanne Norton.

The Brookdale workers wasted no time trying to make the JCC members comfortable. They say some people had been forced from the JCC pool and were standing in the Brookdale lobby in a towel.

“It’s like 30 degrees outside so I went and got some extra clothes that we had to have them put on,” said Resident Care Associate Geneva Jackson.

According to JCC Executive Director Scott Cohen, what happened at Brookdale was only the beginning. He says so many good samaritans went above and beyond including the volunteer firefighter who notices the flames during his swim and returned with his gear to fight the fire. He also says a JCC worker gave the shoes off her feet so a member wouldn’t be barefoot.

“It’s comforting to know that people can pull together that quickly,” Cohen said.

The JCC did suffer significant damage in the fire. There is no timeline for when it may reopen, but Cohen says they have wonderful partners in the community that may be able to offer space to help them get some of their programs restarted as soon as possible.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

1 Dead in Suspected Overdose in Hartford


Hartford police are investigating an untimely death that may be the result of a drug overdose, according to police.

Police said they were called to a home at 141 Woodland Street around 8 p.m. Monday and found a female victim deceased on scene. Family members told police they last heard from the deceased on Dec. 2 and came to check on her.

The victim had a history of mental illness and drug use and empty drug packaging was found on scene, police said. They did not identify the victim.

The Medical Examiner was called in to assist in the investigation.

The Hartford Police Major Crimes Division was notified.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Oakland Mayor Shouted Down at Vigil for Fire Victims


A vigil in honor of victims of the deadly Oakland, California, warehouse fire briefly turned into a political confrontation Monday night as saddened, angry participants shouted down the city's mayor with obscenities and boos, NBC News reported.

Several hundred people showed up at the Oakland Pergola and Colonnade at Lake Merritt for speeches and remembrances three days after at least 36 people were killed as flames engulfed the converted warehouse during a concert and party.

Amid an emotional outpouring from people who knew the victims, some speakers urged the city to protect "nontraditional warehouse residences" and "fringe places" where some Oaklanders have sought shelter as the city's housing costs skyrocket.

Boos and calls to resign greeted Mayor Libby Schaaf, whom some have criticized as emphasizing the warehouse's code violations in the hours immediately after the fire, instead of the shortage of affordable housing.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
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Little Sleep Bad for Drivers: Study


Not getting enough sleep every night doubles the risk of crashes on the road, according to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The study, released on Tuesday, states that drivers who get one to two hours less sleep than the recommended seven hours every night nearly double their risk of being involved in a crash.

“You cannot miss sleep and still expect to be able to safely function behind the wheel. Our new research shows that a driver who has slept for less than five hours has a crash risk comparable to someone driving drunk,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 35 percent of drivers sleep less than seven hours. Also, one in five fatal crashes every year involves drowsy driving, AAA said.

The research also reported that sleeping only four to five hours more than quadrupled the crash risk—getting less than four hours of sleep, the risk went up 11.5 times.

Signs of drowsy driving include drifting from lanes and having trouble keeping eyes open, AAA said.

AAA Foundation recommends giving yourself a break every two hours on long drives, not eating heavy foods, traveling with people and taking turns driving.

The data used by the study was taken from the NHTA’s National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey.

Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida

Drowsy Driving Comparable to Drunk Driving: AAA Study


How much sleep do you get? A new study from the AAA Foundation says it makes a big difference in your driving.

According to AAA, drivers who get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period are at higher risk for crash. Those who miss between one to two hours double their risk for an accident.

The study also found that someone who gets less than five hours of sleep has a crash risk comparable to someone who is driving drunk.

One in five fatal accidents in the US are the result of drowsy driving. Signs of drowsy driving include having trouble keeping eyes open, drifting from lanes, or not remembering the last few miles driven. But AAA says half of drivers involved in fatigue-related accidents don’t experience any of those symptoms before falling asleep behind the wheel.

The motor club says drivers should not wait for those signs and instead should plan for at least seven hours of sleep a night. For longer drives, AAA recommends the following:


  • Travel at times when normally awake
  • Schedule a break every two hours or every 100 miles
  • Avoid heavy foods
  • Travel with an alert passenger and take turns driving
  • Avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairmen

For more information on the study, visit the AAA Foundation website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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