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How dangerous is drowsy driving?

On Behalf of | Nov 12, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Drowsy driving is a major problem that has only recently gained notice as a dangerous driving habit.

It is important to understand exactly why this is a dangerous behavior to engage in, and what sort of negative impacts it can have.

Risks of drowsy driving

The CDC discusses the impact of drowsy driving. First, it is important to note that drowsy drivers actually have a similar ability to cope with their surroundings as intoxicated drivers.

Both intoxicated and drowsy drivers struggle to notice dangers in advance. They suffer from slowed reflexes and delayed reaction times. They also suffer from higher rates of poor judgment calls.

Outside of that, drowsy drivers also have the risk of falling asleep at the wheel. They might experience microsleeping, which means they fall asleep for a period of one to three seconds. While this may not sound like a big deal, it only takes three seconds to travel the length of a football field when going at speeds typical on the highway.

Severe crashes due to drowsiness

Many of the most severe crashes happen when drowsy drivers fall asleep at the wheel. They have no ability to react to their surroundings. Thus, it is not uncommon for them to drive through the meridian and into oncoming traffic, or drive off the side of the road.

Many people falsely believe that drowsy driving is not dangerous simply because almost everyone has driven while drowsy and has not encountered any big issues.

Unfortunately, it just takes one time for a crash to rob a person of everything. Drowsy driving is simply not worth the risk.