When drivers hit the road, they should be in relatively peak physical condition. Driving takes a lot of energy and concentration for optimum safety.
Unfortunately, people still hit the road when at a sleep deficit. This can lead to major problems such as drowsy driving and microsleeping.
How long does microsleeping last?
WebMD discusses what to consider when looking at microsleeping. Microsleeping happens when people do not get enough sleep and their body attempts to correct the problem by essentially forcing them to sleep.
People typically nod off or drop into a state of unconsciousness for a period of 1 to 3 seconds when experiencing microsleep. They will usually continue falling into this state of unconsciousness on and off until they can get proper rest.
While this usually is less of a problem, it can create major issues when driving. It only takes 3 seconds to travel the distance of a football field when going at 60 miles per hour. This means a sleeping driver could easily cross into the paths of many vehicles in just a few seconds.
Rate of high fatality crashes
To back this up, most of the highest fatality crashes happen when a driver falls asleep at the wheel. This includes high-speed rear-end collisions, crashes where a driver veers off the side of the road and crashes where a driver crosses the meridian and goes into oncoming traffic.
It is important for people to understand these dangers before hitting the road. A thorough understanding can help people reduce the instances of these crashes.