Should you worry about microsleep?

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2023 | Auto Accidents |

These days, more people understand the true dangers of drowsy driving. This includes microsleep, an otherwise normal physical reaction to exhaustion.

Why should drivers worry about microsleep? What exactly is it?

What is microsleeping?

WebMD discusses important points about microsleeping. Generally speaking, microsleeping happens when the body reaches a point of exhaustion where it tries to essentially force itself into slumber to make up for any sleep deficit.

While this is less problematic under ordinary circumstances, it is more of an issue for drivers for the obvious reason that it forces a driver unconscious while behind the wheel.

Microsleep tends to last for bursts of one to three seconds, with these bursts occurring somewhat frequently until the person gets to sleep. While this might initially seem like it is not a big deal, three seconds serves as plenty of time when going at speeds of 60 miles per hour or faster. In that time, a driver on the freeway can cover the distance of a football field.

The risk of deadlier crashes

Needless to say, many of the most dangerous accidents happen because a person was asleep at the wheel. This includes crashes in which a driver went over a meridian into oncoming traffic, or crashes where a driver veered off the side of the road.

Dangerous rear-end crashes also happen at high speeds because a driver is asleep and does not realize that the car in front of them stopped.

Because of these risks, microsleeping and drowsy driving should always get treated as the potential dangers they are.