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What is a microsleep?

When drowsy drivers hit the road, it opens up a plethora of dangers. Some of the risks are less noticeable than others. Some risks have a profound and immediate impact, though. This often includes microsleeping.

What is a microsleep, though? How does it affect drivers? And why does it pose such an enormous risk?

The danger of unconsciousness

VeryWell Health discusses the hidden dangers of microsleeping. A microsleep often lasts between 1 and 3 seconds on average. But in some instances, it can last up to 10 seconds. During this microsleep, a driver falls unconscious. Thus, the biggest danger is that which faces any unconscious driver: a lack of control.

Sleeping drivers cannot see or react to dangers or obstacles they may face. Unfortunately, the faster they travel, the more risky this is. On the highway, you can travel the distance of a football field in 3 seconds or less. One small microsleep has the potential to put drivers in the direct line of a car crash.

Lethal crashes caused by microsleep

In fact, some of the most lethal accidents happen due to microsleeping. Drivers often cross over the meridian into oncoming traffic or drive off the road and into a ditch. Rear end collisions are also common. A sleeping driver cannot notice when cars stop suddenly ahead of them, after all.

Unfortunately, a driver cannot control microsleep. No amount of wakefulness tricks will ever be enough to combat the body’s natural reaction to exhaustion. The only cure is to get enough sleep.

These crashes often leave victims with severe injuries. If you got involved in a crash with a drowsy driver, consider contacting a legal expert. They can help you navigate through the difficult aftermath.