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Can Drowsiness Really Put Your Life At Risk?

Can Drowsiness Really Put Your Life At Risk?
Christian J. Amendt

When you hit the road, you want to be in peak physical and mental shape. Even being slightly under the weather or drowsy can put you at risk of a form of distracted driving that is often just as dangerous as texting while driving.

In terms of drowsy driving, studies across the board paint it as a major danger. But what makes it such a risk, and how can it impact your safety?

Physical effects of drowsiness

The Sleep Foundation points out the negative impact drowsiness has on driving safety. Drowsiness actually has a similar effect on drivers as both texting while driving and even intoxicated driving. Drowsy drivers often struggle to concentrate and focus, missing out on important details that could impact their chance of avoiding a potential crash.

Drowsy drivers also have slowed reflexes. This means even if you spot a dangerous situation, you may not have the ability to react dexterously and avoid it. This increases your chance of getting into a crash, as well as the chances of involving other surrounding drivers in one, too.

What is microsleep?

You also have the risk of micro-sleeping or falling asleep behind the wheel entirely. Microsleep involves falling asleep briefly, usually for a few seconds. Unfortunately, when going fast enough – such as the speeds common on a highway – it is possible to travel the distance of a football field in just three seconds. This sets drivers up for traumatic, tragic crashes that can involve driving off the road or into oncoming traffic in these moments of unconsciousness.

Thus, it is easy to see the negative and dangerous effect drowsiness has on drivers and driver safety.

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