How does drowsiness affect drivers?

As a driver in Tennessee, you know it is important to stay safe on the road. One of the best ways you can help yourself is by being in top form when you get behind the wheel. This means getting proper rest before driving. 

But just how damaging is it if you decide to drive when tired? Is drowsy driving as dangerous as some make it out to seem? 

Drowsy Driving

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examine the impact of drowsy driving. Between 2005 and 2009, an estimated 83,000 crashes took place due to explicit drowsy driving. On top of that, there were 886 fatalities. In 2014 alone, there were 846 deaths. But these are conservative estimates and experts believe as many as 6,000 fatalities a year tie to drowsy driving. 

So what makes drowsiness so deadly? It affects you in a way similar to alcohol. In other words, driving drowsy is like driving under the influence. A few shared symptoms you may experience include: 

  • An inability to focus 
  • Poor depth perception 
  • Slowed reflexes 
  • The inability to detect danger 

There are unique dangers that come with drowsiness, too. For example, many drowsy drivers experience microsleep. Microsleep involves nodding off behind the wheel for several seconds at a time. It can even happen when you blink. 

But closing your eyes for a few seconds is all you need to get into a dangerous crash. After all, you travel the length of a football field in 3 seconds on the highway. Falling asleep fully while driving is an even bigger danger accordingly, and one that can easily result in fatalities.