Is drowsiness a driving problem?
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Is drowsiness a driving problem?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2023 | motor vehicle accidents

Drowsiness remains a serious issue for many drivers across the nation. However, some still do not know why it is an issue in the first place.

In reality, drowsiness poses one of the biggest problems that drivers currently face in terms of dangerous distracted driving behaviors.

Drowsiness and DUI

The CDC discusses the impact of drowsiness on how safe a driver stays. Drowsiness actually impacts the body in a way similar to intoxication, which many people may find surprising.

In fact, just a few of the shared traits between intoxicated and drowsy drivers include: delayed or slowed reflexes, trouble predicting and reacting to danger and difficulty concentrating.

The dangers of microsleeping

On top of that, drowsy drivers are also at risk for something called microsleep. This happens when a driver falls asleep at the wheel for a period of usually one to three seconds.

While this may not seem like a long time, it is actually enough time for a car traveling at 60 miles per hour to cross the distance of an entire football field.

This opens up the driver and anyone on the road with them to numerous dangers. Many of the most fatal car crashes happen with drivers who fall asleep at the wheel, as they have no ability to react to encroaching dangers in any way. This includes crashes where a driver veers off the side of the road or crashes where a driver crosses the meridian on a highway and goes into oncoming traffic.

Understanding the true risks of driving drowsy can eliminate some of these crashes, making people less likely to engage in it.