Distracted Driver Accidents

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The Consequences of Driving While Fatigued

Emma JohnsonEmma Johnson

Approximately 60% of adult drivers have driven while feeling drowsy in the past year, and about 37% have fallen asleep at the wheel. Driving while fatigued can lead to serious accidents and fatalities. This article will discuss the consequences of driving while fatigued and provide tips to prevent drowsy driving.

Drowsy driving is a form of impaired driving that can slow a driver’s reaction time and decrease judgment and decision-making abilities. Driving while tired can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. Being tired impairs a person’s cognitive and physical abilities. This can lead to poor driving performance, including decreased attention, slower reaction times, and reduced situational awareness.

The Signs of Fatigue

Fatigue can manifest in many different ways, but some common signs of fatigue include:

Common Consequences of Driving While Fatigued

Driving fatigued can lead to serious consequences, both for the driver and others on the road. Common consequences of drowsy driving include:

Increased Risk of Accidents

Drowsy driving can increase the risk of accidents, especially on long trips or during late-night driving. Driving with over 20 hours of no sleep is the equivalent of driving with a blood alcohol level of .08, and it puts drivers at 3x the risk of an accident. In 2017, drowsy driving was responsible for 795 deaths and 91,000 accidents. 

Legal Consequences

If a driver causes an accident while driving fatigued, they may be held liable for any damages or injuries caused. According to the attorneys at Rodriguez & Associates “an act of distracted driving constitutes something that takes your hands off the wheel or your mind or eyes off the road” – which includes driving while tired. This means that if a person gets into an accident driving fatigued, they could face fines or even jail time. 

Tips to Prevent Drowsy Driving

Preventing drowsy driving starts with recognizing the signs of fatigue and taking steps to prevent it. Here are some tips to prevent drowsy driving:

Get Enough Sleep

Getting adequate sleep is the best way to prevent drowsy driving. The typical adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. Before a long drive, make sure to get enough sleep the night before.

Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks during a long drive can help you stay alert and focused. Stop every two hours or 100 miles to rest, stretch, and take a break from driving.

Avoid Alcohol and Medications

Alcohol and some medications can increase drowsiness and impair driving performance. Avoid drinking alcohol and check the labels of any medications you take to ensure they won’t make you drowsy.

Driving tired is a dangerous behavior that can lead to serious accidents and fatalities. Recognize the signs of fatigue and take steps to prevent drowsy driving, such as getting enough sleep, taking breaks, and avoiding alcohol and medications that can cause drowsiness. Following these tips can help ensure the safety of the driver and others on the road.

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