Fatigued driving: A preventable cause of crashes

On Behalf of | May 1, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Drivers must ensure they’re able to drive safely each time they get behind the wheel. It’s never acceptable for them to try to drive if they know they can’t do so safely. Unfortunately, many drivers choose to put safety aside so they can take care of errands and other tasks. 

A driver failing to sleep has similar effects as one who’s driving while they’re drunk. At 20 hours without sleep, the effects on driving abilities are the same as a person who has a blood alcohol concentration of .08%, which is legally drunk.

Fatigue isn’t just from lack of sleep

Many people associate fatigue with a lack of sleep, but that’s not the only cause of fatigued driving. One common cause of becoming drowsy when you drive is getting behind the wheel when your body expects you to sleep. This is known as the Circadian rhythm and dictates when the body naturally needs sleep. People who work on overnight shifts or swing shifts will often deal with fatigued driving because of this. 

Fatigue can also occur because of medical conditions or medications. Medical conditions, such as sleep apnea or diabetes, can lead to drowsiness. Medications, such as antihistamines and certain pain relievers, may also lead to this. 

Individuals who are struck by a drowsy driver may have serious injuries that result in considerable medical bills. This may happen at a time when they can’t work as much as usual, so their income is down. These victims may opt to pursue a claim for compensation so they can hold the negligent driver liable for the financial damages they incurred because of the crash.