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Why is fatigued driving so dangerous?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Car Accidents |

People are often in such a rush to get things done that they might not always get the sleep they need. While that’s not really a danger for some tasks, it can turn fatal if a driver gets behind the wheel while they’re fatigued. 

More than half of drivers in this country admit that they’ve driven while drowsy. One out of every 25 drivers notes that they’ve fallen asleep while they’re driving. This represents a danger to everyone on the roads. 

Prolonged sleep deprivation is akin to drunk driving

When the lack of sleep is that primary cause of fatigue, the effects intensify the longer a person goes without adequate sleep. By the time a person has been awake 20 hours, their driving abilities are similar to a person who has a blood alcohol concentration of .08%, which indicates illegal impairment by alcohol.

Many causes of fatigued driving

Many people think that fatigue only comes from lack of sleep, but that’s not always the case. Certain medications and illegal drugs can lead to drowsiness, which can have a negative impact on driving abilities. 

Microsleeps are especially dangerous

One issue that frequently occurs when a driver is fatigued is microsleeps. These happen when the driver dozes off for a few seconds, but that leaves the vehicle without anyone controlling it. The danger is evident when a person considers that a vehicle that’s going 55 miles per hour will go the full length of a football field in only five seconds. 

Anyone who’s struck by a fatigued driver may need urgent medical care, which can be costly. They may opt to pursue a compensation claim to help offset those expenses. Working with someone familiar with these matters is critical for those who want to pursue a claim.