Microsleeping poses a major risk to drivers all across America. However, many people do not even know what it is.
It is one of the many parts of drowsy driving that put people at serious risk, and spreading awareness can cut down on unnecessary injuries and even fatalities.
What is microsleeping?
WebMD takes a look at microsleeping, an ongoing issue for driver safety. Under normal circumstances, microsleeping is the body’s way of taking care of itself and essentially attempting to force itself to sleep when in need of a rest.
Microsleeping consists of bursts of 1 to 3 seconds in which a person falls into a state of semi or full unconsciousness. These bursts will last until the person can properly rest or falls into a full sleep.
Unfortunately, this is a major issue when someone is driving. Even though a few seconds does not sound like a lot of time, a person can cross the distance of a football field in 3 seconds when driving at 60 miles per hour. This opens drivers up to the possibility of numerous high-injury or even fatal crashes.
The risks of a crash
In fact, when the numbers break down, many of the worst and most fatal accidents happen when a driver falls asleep at the wheel. This includes accidents where a driver crosses the meridian and goes into oncoming traffic, and crashes where a driver veers off the side of the road.
Due to the high rate of fatalities and serious injuries, drowsy driving and microsleeping count as some of the riskiest behaviors on the road.