New Jersey drivers like you put effort and care into driving as safely as possible. Unfortunately, the reckless behavior of just one driver can put everyone on the road at risk. This is particularly true with drowsy drivers.
A drowsy driver poses a great risk to your safety and health. But where do those risks stem from?
Effects of drowsy driving
The Sleep Foundation looks at drowsy driving and how it impacts everyone on the road. First, driving with minimal sleep actually mimics the effects of driving under the influence. A drowsy driver displays many of the same problematic traits as a drunk driver, including:
- An inability to focus or concentrate
- Easy distractibility
- Slow reflexes
- An inability to predict potential dangers
- Slow mental and physical reaction time
Microsleep behind the wheel
Drowsy drivers also experience microsleep. This happens when they fall asleep behind the wheel for a few seconds. This does not seem dangerous at first, but you can travel the length of a football field in 3 seconds on the highway. This is more than enough time to cause a crash.
Of course, drowsy drivers can also fall asleep behind the wheel. Many tragic accidents happen because a driver fell asleep and drove over the dividing meridian into oncoming traffic.
Another big risk of drowsy driving is the fact that it is widely accepted as relatively “safe” driving behavior. While people acknowledge it has some risks, many continue to participate because coworkers or colleagues still do it. Thus, experts think the first step toward reducing drowsy driving dangers is by drawing attention to how deadly it really is.