Drowsy driving, often known as driver fatigue, is a significant cause of avoidable accidents and fatalities in the United States today. Almost 25% of motorists in the United States say they have problems keeping their eyes open while driving. Over 1/4 of all motorists have admitted to nodding off behind the wheel. Among those who admit to falling asleep behind the wheel, over half died during the journey of less than an hour. 

The dangers of driving when tired are often overlooked, despite having identical effects to driving while intoxicated. Both disorders lessen responsiveness and impair cognition and wakefulness. According to randomized research, intoxicated and fatigued drivers caused the same number of car accidents. 

Unfortunately, not all motorists are concerned about the welfare of their fellow travelers. Contact a seasoned car accident lawyer if you get into an accident caused by car driver fatigue. Your attorney should comprehensively investigate the incident to ascertain possible causes and identify guilty parties. Legal counsel and representation can also help you get the most compensation possible. 

Five Ways Driver Fatigue Can Lead To Car Accidents

The human body has such an intense need for sleep that the brain will force itself to sleep if you don’t give it the proper environment. It doesn’t matter how hard you try to stay awake; your brain will eventually force you to succumb to sleep. Here are some ways drowsy driving can cause collisions on the road. 

1.     Reduced reaction time

The driver’s reaction time reduces dramatically when tired compared to when they are well rested. It reduces the likelihood that they will be able to avert an accident by reacting in time. This is because driving when tired impairs your ability to pay attention, take in new information, and respond swiftly to changing road conditions. Before going behind the wheel, motorists should ensure enough sleep. If you’re feeling fatigued, pull over and rest before carrying on to increase the chance of having a safe and rapid reaction time. 

2.     Impaired judgment

Driver fatigue can increase the risk of poor decision-making. Fatigue has a profound effect on a person’s cognitive capacities, including the ability for perception and decision-making. For example, tired drivers may fail to give themselves enough space between their vehicles and others on the road, increasing the risk of accidents. When tired, people take longer to respond and make choices. 

3.     Poor concentration

Driver fatigue can compromise the ability to focus on the road. It’s one of the many issues that arise from driver weariness, which includes trouble focusing and slow response. Poor concentration leads to a higher chance of accidents and a slower reaction to unforeseen road conditions. You risk colliding with other cars or missing crucial traffic signals. Without sufficient sleep, your level of attentiveness and performance reduce. 

4.     Microsleep

Microsleeps are short episodes of unconsciousness that can occur when a motorist is severely fatigued and can happen even when you try to stay awake. Your brain may turn off for a few seconds to a few minutes, and you become entirely oblivious to your surroundings. This is a recipe for disaster for drivers since they can black out or won’t avoid potential dangers. The micro-sleeps alongside tiredness or heavy eyelids, show that you must rest and pull over immediately to prevent accidents. The motorist may get disoriented or fail to identify potential dangers when micro-sleeping. 

5.     Reduced vision 

Fatigued drivers can have impaired eyesight, making it more challenging to identify and avoid potential road dangers. A tired person will struggle to keep their eyes open. Your eyes can get dry, scratchy, or uncomfortable when tired, making it difficult to focus on the road. Because of blurred vision and poor peripheral vision, it may be difficult to identify risks and react to changes in traffic patterns. You may also experience visual hallucinations or illusions because of drowsiness, including seeing objects that aren’t there or confusing one object for another. This can cause uncertainty and poor judgment, raising the possibility of accidents. 

Final Thoughts

Driving while tired can increase the likelihood of an accident. When tired and sleepy, many motorists risk their lives by getting behind the wheel. People are hurt or killed as a direct consequence of their activities. If you’re feeling sleepy behind the wheel, it’s best to pull over and rest or switch drivers if feasible.

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