Drivers understand that drowsy driving puts them at significant risk for injury. But what about microsleeping?
This problem goes hand-in-hand with drowsy driving, and yet fewer people know about it.
Why microsleeping is a problem
WebMD discusses microsleeping as a problem drowsy drivers face. First, what is microsleeping? This happens when a person has not had enough sleep and their body attempts to force them into sleep because it can no longer tolerate staying awake.
In these moments, a person will fall asleep for one to three seconds. Typically, this is not a big problem, but it becomes one on the road.
In just three seconds, a car driving at 60 miles per hour can cover the distance of a football field. In that time, it is possible for a driver to get into many accident-causing situations.
Many of the worst accidents happen when a driver falls asleep behind the wheel. This includes full-speed rear-end collisions, crashes where a driver veers off the side of the road, and crashes over the meridian where a driver drives into oncoming traffic.
Due to the high rate of severe injury and fatalities associated with these types of crashes, it is easy to see how and why drowsy driving and microsleeping cause major problems for drivers across the country. Awareness of these dangers can help lead to people exerting more caution when they hit the road, thus reducing instances of drowsy driving.