Microsleep while driving, THAT’S DANGEROUS
By Automology June 22, 2017
Have you ever experienced a situation whereby you suddenly fall asleep behind the wheel of a car? Only for a split second? And the lorry which was still far ahead suddenly looms in front of you. MICROSLEEP is a condition whereby the body sleeps for a fraction of time. Any input from the eyes or ears is no longer processed by the brain; like computers, the brain has “shut down”. The microsleep duration can last between 1 to 30 seconds, and can occur even with the eyes still open.
At 50mph, microsleeping for less than 5 seconds means that the vehicle has travelled 100 meters without human supervision – 100 meters could be the difference between life and death. Imagine if the vehicle is travelling at an even faster speed…
The driver often thinks he/she is immune. Some people think that by driving fast or on curved roads would help overcome drowsiness, since the “adrenaline effect” increases concentration. It is, in fact, dangerous. The body becomes more fatigued and the chance of microsleeping increases.
What does the driver have to do? Stop the car at a rest area and take a nap. No need to be a long one. A power nap shorter than 20 minutes, repeated whenever you feel tired, is effective in preventing unintentional microsleeping. Take a break every two hours when driving long distance. Better yet, have a good night’s sleep to preventing microsleep.
image sources: Huffington Post.