Microsleep is a serious risk for truck drivers as well as other drivers on the road. It is an occurrence that can cause any driver to become unable to react to obstacles, curves, other cars or anything else, thereby presenting a danger to everyone.
What is microsleep?
Sleeping is a well-known hazard of the road. The long hours that professional drivers put in, the repetitive motions, the scenery and the night conditions all make sleep a risk. However, not everyone knows about microsleep.
Microsleep is a tiny interval of sleep that is a few seconds long at most. People who are tired can enter microsleep without even realizing it. In microsleep, drivers are completely inattentive and may even accidentally move the wheel or take their feet off of the pedals due to muscle relaxation. Microsleep is especially risky because it is hard to predict. A person in microsleep may appear to be fully awake because their brain has not been fully shut down, but they are still unable to react to anything they see or hear.
Road accidents with trucks involved are more dangerous than typical road accidents because the sheer mass and speed of trucks means that there is more force involved. The massive size also means that trucks can interfere with other vehicles more easily. Large truck accidents that arise from microsleep episodes can be a major risk to anyone who is driving near the truck at the time.
Drivers who have worked for too many hours can enter microsleep, and when it comes to trucks, this means a larger chance of getting into a dangerous crash. The only way to prevent this danger is to get enough rest.