VIRGINA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) --- The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released what it calls the most in-depth drowsy driving research ever conducted.

The findings suggest driving while tired is one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes.

Researchers believe the link between significant property damage and drowsiness behind the wheel happens eight times more than federal estimates indicate.

Researchers studied thousands of videos from in-vehicle camera footage that included more than 700 crashes.

For the first time, the organization studied the amount of time a driver’s eyes are closed in the three minutes leading into a crash.

They found almost 10 percent of all crashes involving significant property damage involved drowsiness- compared to federal estimates that report these types of crashes happen one to two percent of the time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 35-percent of American drivers do not get the recommended 7 hours of sleep a day.

An executive from AAA suggests that missing just two to three hours of sleep can more than quadruple your risk for a crash.