Many adults think that they can drive when they’re tired, but this is a very dangerous assumption. Drowsy driving can impact a driver in a similar manner to alcohol, so it is imperative that all drivers get the rest they need before they get behind the wheel.
A person who nods off behind the wheel of their vehicle for as little as five seconds can cause great risks for others on the road. In that short time, the vehicle can travel the full length of a regulation football field if it is moving 55 miles per hour. That’s a considerable distance during which many wrecks could occur, especially if the road is crowded.
What can lead to fatigued driving?
Contrary to popular belief, fatigued driving isn’t caused only by lack of sleep. There are many other things that can lead to this. One of these is when a person has to drive. The human body naturally wants to sleep at night and during the mid-afternoon. This coincides with an uptick in drowsy driving accidents.
People who do shift work and have to work overnight, as well as commercial drivers like truckers who are on the road during this time, have to be especially careful to get enough rest before they get on the road.
Highway hypnosis is another critical factor. People who drive at night might become hypnotized by the oncoming lights in the darkness. That’s compounded by the body’s need to sleep during those hours.
How can drivers prevent drowsy driving?
One of the best ways to stop fatigued driving is to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep before getting behind the wheel. Drivers should avoid getting on the road at night unless they have to.
There isn’t any quick fix for fatigue. Taking a short nap can give drivers a boost to make it to their destination if they aren’t too far. Caffeine can also provide a short-term solution. Some people report that fast music or opening the window can also help. None of those are long-term solutions, so they must be used sparingly and only when absolutely necessary.
The motor vehicle crashes that occur because of fatigued driving can be very serious. The victims of these wrecks might opt to seek compensation from the liable driver. This can help them to cover the expenses, such as missed wages and medical bills, that stem from being struck by that driver.