How does drowsiness physically affect drivers?

| Feb 16, 2021 | Car Accidents

Drivers know that imbibing certain substances can have a negative impact on their ability to drive safely. Many are familiar with the exact potential repercussions that intoxicated drivers face. They understand how intoxication manifests.

But drowsiness is lesser known. Many drivers do not understand exactly how much drowsiness can affect the physical body. In reality, it can do much worse than people think.

Physical signs of drowsiness

The Sleep Foundation examines how drowsiness impacts drivers. Many drivers believe that feeling tired is the extent of how drowsiness can impact drivers. In reality, that is just one of many ways drowsiness can manifest.

Drowsy drivers often face the same physical challenges that intoxicated drivers do. This can include a short attention span and inability to concentrate. You may also struggle to predict and react to dangerous situations ahead of time.

Physical affects can occur as well. For example, a driver may experience facial twitching, especially around the eyes. You may even struggle to control your muscles, which can make gripping the steering wheel properly a difficult task.

Falling asleep at the wheel

Drowsy drivers also often fall asleep at the wheel or experience microsleep. These small bursts of unconsciousness can lead to big problems, especially if the driver is on the highway. A driver can easily cross the distance of a football field in 3 seconds on a highway. This means closing your eyes for even a small amount of time can lead to big crashes. In fact, many of the worst crashes involve sleeping drivers crossing a meridian into oncoming traffic. Rear-end collisions are also common.

Drowsy drivers leave a deadly impact on the road. If you suffered injury in a crash with one of them, consider contacting a legal expert to learn about your options.