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What makes drowsy driving a risk?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Distracted driving comes in all forms. For example, texting while driving is a type of distraction. So is drowsy driving. Despite this similarity, drowsy driving does not get the same level of spotlight as texting while driving.

But drowsy driving may actually pose a greater danger. On top of that, it continues to be on the rise, creating many deadly incidents a year.

The danger of microsleep

The Sleep Foundation discusses the risks unique to drowsy driving. The most unique risk is the possibility for a driver to experience microsleep. Of course, a driver can fall asleep behind the wheel, too. But microsleep is unique to exhaustion.

Microsleep involves losing consciousness for a few seconds at a time. It can happen as fast as a blink. You may not think this seems like a big deal. Unfortunately, you can travel a long distance in just three seconds. This is particularly true on the highway.

Common crashes after falling asleep

In one microsleep, a driver may easily speed over the meridian into oncoming traffic. They could drive off the side of the road into a ditch. They may also not notice that cars in front of them have come to a halt, resulting in a rear-end crash.

Even the drivers that maintain consciousness are at a higher risk for crashes. They suffer from slowed reflexes and lowered attention spans. Many do not notice danger fast enough to react to it.

As mentioned before, drowsy driving is also on an upward trend. This means you are more likely to run into a drowsy driver now than ever before. The frequency contributes to its danger. This is also why more campaigns work to bring about awareness of this danger. In the future, it may cut down on these deadly incidents.