Millions of drivers would never consider taking to the road while intoxicated. Yet, many of these same motorists might commute when excessively tired. They might not realize that drowsy driving mimics many effects of drunk driving, and a tired driver could cause a crash on a Minnesota highway.
The dangers of drowsy driving
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration noted that 2017 saw 50,000 injuries and 795 deaths resulting from drowsy driving. Those figures may surprise people who do not realize how dangerous driving while tired is.
Alertness may suffer when fatigue overwhelms a driver. Poor alertness might make it difficult to notice a car stalled ahead or that light has changed. At night or in inclement weather, diminished attention could become more dangerous.
Extreme fatigue may result in someone outright falling asleep at the wheel. Such incidents are not limited to long-haul truckers, as even someone traveling short distances by car could pass out from exhaustion or illness. Others might not lose consciousness but could reach the verge of doing so. Their vehicle might weave out of a lane and hit another car.
Other problems can arise when someone struggles with fatigue while driving. A driver could become prone to daydreaming, which affects awareness. Sometimes, the driver’s head could droop, impairing vision.
Fatigued driving and accidents
Victims of car crashes could suffer permanent disabilities or even lose their lives in a collision. If a driver ignored warning signs about being too sleepy to drive, the driver might pay the price in a civil lawsuit. However, sufficient auto insurance coverage might cover the driver’s losses and expedite a settlement.
Ultimately, any behavior that puts others in harm’s way might be negligent. Driving while fatigued may fit that description.