Aggressively Fighting For Your Rights

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Auto Accidents
  4.  » 3 ways drowsy or fatigued drivers endanger others on the road

3 ways drowsy or fatigued drivers endanger others on the road

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2024 | Auto Accidents

Chronic fatigue is a common concern for adults in the United States. People may put in overtime at work, spend hours taking children to extracurricular activities and devote much of their time off to caring for their homes and families. All of that responsibility can lead to exhaustion, but people have to go on with their lives despite feeling constantly tired.

Many people drive regularly while feeling so exhausted that they can barely keep their eyes open. Fatigued drivers can be hard to track from a statistical standpoint, but the risks that they generate for others are easy to identify. Yet, these are the top three ways that fatigue affects someone’s safety at the wheel, even if their hazardous choices are hard to spot.

Increased risk of falling asleep

Even those who have had proper rest might end up dozing off at the wheel if they experience highway hypnosis after driving for hours. Roughly one in 25 drivers admit to falling asleep at the wheel in the last 30 days. Drivers who lose consciousness while in control of motor vehicles can cause severe collisions with major consequences for the other people involved.

Increased reaction times

Fatigue can affect someone’s driving ability in several ways. Difficulty focusing on one’s surroundings may make it harder for people to notice sudden changes in traffic conditions or an animal that stepped onto the road. When they do notice those issues, they may have a harder time making a rapid decision about how to respond. Increased reaction times can be the difference between someone responding appropriately to threats in traffic and failing to respond, which may ultimately cause a crash.

Difficulty making the right decisions

Drivers need to trust themselves to make safety-conscious choices when something dangerous occurs nearby. Fatigue often impairs decision-making ability. For example, it is better to slow down when an animal steps into the street than to swerve. A driver who knows that could still make the wrong choice when they have gone too long without sleep. They could swerve off the road into a tree or into oncoming traffic.

The longer someone has gone without adequate rest, the more likely they are to display concerning changes in their driving ability. Someone injured in a crash caused by a driver who may have been fatigued could have grounds for an insurance claim or possibly even a personal injury lawsuit. Holding someone accountable for causing a crash can reduce the consequences for safe drivers and inspire others to focus more on safety in traffic.