Most drivers understand the risk of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; however, driving while fatigued and tired can sometimes be just as dangerous. More and more state and local programs are now trying to push awareness of driving while distracted, including driving while eating, drinking, or using a cell phone. Being tired while you are behind the wheel can also be just as distracting but, unfortunately, many drivers fail to understand the seriousness of this risk.
Driving While Tired
In May this year, a survey found that over 20% of drivers admitted to driving while fatigued in the past month. And, another 20% of drivers admitted to falling asleep while operating their vehicle in the past year. Around forty percent of drivers admit to falling asleep behind the wheel at some point since they started driving. Munley Law truck accident lawyers in Scranton PA deal with some of the almost 50,000 people across the country who are injured in accidents caused by fatigued driving. Driving while tired presents a real danger on the roads, but all too many drivers continue to be unaware of the risks that they are causing when they continue driving long past the point of fatigue setting in.
What Happens If You Drive When Fatigued?
Driving while tired causes many of the same challenges that you might be faced with should you drive after driving alcohol. Sometimes, you might be a little tired when driving home after a long shift at work or after some hours behind the wheel when driving long-distance. On the other hand, more serious fatigue can lead to more serious risks and consequences. Some of the main ways you’re at risk when driving fatigued include:
When you are tired, it can be harder for you to pay attention to the road. You might not be able to focus well on the task at hand, or have trouble focusing on and anticipating the actions of other road users.
When you are sleepy behind the wheel, you are less likely to make the right judgement calls. This could increase your risk of getting serious road rage, or misjudge the traffic if you are pulling out of a parking space or out of a side road.
The time that it takes for you to react to a dangerous situation on the road can often be the difference between whether you are able to avoid or end up getting involved in an accident. You may be much slower to react to situations such as another driver suddenly stopping or a pedestrian stepping out into the road if you are driving while you are tired.
In the worst-case scenario, a driver who is fatigued may fall asleep behind the wheel, leaving the vehicle completely out of control. If the driver falls asleep with their foot still on the gas, the vehicle will still continue moving forwards regardless to what is in front of it.
Driving while tired can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.