Drowsy driving affects many motorists all over the country, and yet there is a startlingly slim amount of backlash against drowsy driving.
In fact, one of the biggest and truest risks of drowsy driving is the fact that too many people find it acceptable.
Drowsy driving and drunk driving
CDC discusses the dangers of driving while drowsy. Many drivers are not aware of this fact, but driving drowsy actually has similar impacts on the brain and body as driving while intoxicated. Some of the shared traits between the two include:
- Lowered reaction times and speed
- Trouble with concentration and focus
- Inability to detect dangers in advance
- Delayed thought processing
In essence, the mind and body both react more slowly to external and internal factors that could contribute to a crash.
Falling asleep at the wheel
On top of that, another major danger is present in something called microsleep. This happens when a person falls asleep for a period of 1 to 3 seconds. Though this may not sound like a lot, it is actually long enough to travel the length of a football field when going at typical highway speeds.
A person can even fall asleep entirely, leading to much longer periods of unconsciousness. This can result in a sleeping driver running into a car in front of them, veering off the side of the road, or even crossing the meridian and driving into oncoming traffic.
In any of these cases, the consequences can be dire and even fatal. This is why it is important for all drivers to understand the risks they take any time they get behind the wheel exhausted.