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Can sleeplessness impact driving safety?

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2022 | Car Crashes |

Though many people understand that drowsy driving is dangerous, not many understand the exact extent of this danger.

In reality, sleeplessness and drowsy driving not only affect the driver in question. It can actually impact anyone else that happens to cross their path.

The impact of drowsiness

The CDC discusses the impact of sleeplessness on driver safety. Generally speaking, sleeplessness is an issue because it severely inhibits a driver’s ability to react to dangers. True drowsiness can affect a body in a way similar to intoxication, resulting in several shared factors like:

  • Slower reflexes
  • Slowed reaction times and ability to detect dangers
  • Slower thought processing time and diminished awareness

Drivers can also fall asleep at the wheel if tired enough. If this happens for one to three-second bursts, it is called micro-sleeping, which is just as dangerous. After all, a driver can cover the length of a football field in this span of time when traveling at speeds typical of the highway.

The high risk of drowsy crashes

When unconscious, a driver cannot react to anything properly. This often leads to severe and even fatal crashes, such as when a driver careens off the road into the tree line or crosses the meridian into oncoming traffic. It is also common for these drivers to rear end other vehicles due to not noticing them slowing or stopping.

Thus, it is easy to see the impact that drowsiness has not only on drivers who engage in the behavior but on anyone around them. One mistake could end up involving the lives of other people and impacting them in a negative and tragic way.