Dangers of Driving While Fatigued
It’s rare for Californians to be fully rested. It’s hard to get a full nights’ sleep, especially when you’re working long hours, battling insomnia, or dealing with a new baby.
However, a lack of sleep is a serious issue. It’s not something that you can just laugh off and push through, especially if you’re working in a job where you need to be constantly alert or driving.
Driving on the road requires your full concentration. If you’re constantly yawning or shutting your eyes while behind the wheel, you’re not driving safely. You’re putting yourself and others on the road at risk of a serious car accident.
Indeed, a lack of sleep can cause cognitive impairments, performance issues, health issues, workplace accidents, and car crashes. The consequences are high. In fact, fatigue has been compared to being as dangerous as drunk driving.
Car accidents caused by fatigue can happen at any time and any place, but there are typically three main factors involved:
- They tend to occur between midnight and 6 a.m., or in the late afternoon. These are both times of the day where people experience dips in their circadian rhythm.
- They often involve only a single driver (with no passengers), with the vehicle running off the road at a high rate of speed with no braking beforehand.
- They frequently occur on highways and rural roads.
How to Drive Alert
Your best bet is to be as alert as possible while driving. Here are some tips to avoid driving while fatigued:
- Get plenty of rest. This is easier said than done, but it’s a good idea to get adequate sleep daily. Aim for 7-8 hours each night.
- Plan for longer trips. If you are planning to go on a longer trip, be sure to get a good night’s sleep right before.
- Make sure teen drivers are well-rested. Teens have a biological need for more sleep, so make sure they are fully rested. Do not let them drive if they are fatigued.
- Avoid alcohol before driving. Driving while intoxicated is not only illegal but a stupid decision to make before getting behind the wheel. Alcohol increases impairment and drowsiness, making you more likely to fall asleep while driving.
- Check your medications. Some drugs cause drowsiness, so you’ll want to check your medications and avoid taking them before driving or use an alternate form of transportation.
- Pull over and rest. You may be in a hurry to get home, but don’t risk it if you are overly tired. Instead, pull over and take a quick 20-30-minute nap.
Contact Us Today
Fatigue is a serious issue for drivers. Many overestimate their ability to drive while overly tired, but the results are often catastrophic.
If you have been injured by a fatigued driver, seek legal help from a Carlsbad car accident attorney from Pursley Law Firm. We’ll help you understand your options after suffering a serious crash. Call (760) 678-1884 or fill out the online form to schedule a consultation.