Drowsy driving serves as a major issue for many people who hit the road. Over the years, its true levels of risk have gotten more attention.
However, there is one aspect of drowsy driving that stands out above the rest as particularly risky.
The CDC discusses the risks associated with drowsy driving, of which there are many. But the worst is the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel.
This can happen in microsleep bursts, which occur over a span of 1 to 3 seconds. While this might initially seem like an insignificant amount of time, in reality it takes 3 seconds to cross the length of a football field when going at the speeds common on a highway. In short, that is a lot of distance to cover and a lot of potential crashes that may happen in just a few seconds.
Falling asleep at the wheel
Microsleep aside, a person could also fully fall asleep at the wheel. They might stay asleep for seconds before they get into a crash, as they will inevitably veer off the side of the road or into other cars.
Commonly, these vehicles will rear-end cars in front of them when those cars stop and they do not notice in time. In the most deadly of crashes, they could even drive through the center barrier and into oncoming traffic which often yields fatal results.
Regardless of the outcome, crashes that result from sleeping drivers are almost always serious. This is why it is important to treat drowsy driving like the danger it is.