Every driver, even the most experienced one, is susceptible to mistakes. Human error plays a role in almost every accident, and each person behind the wheel has the obligation to drive safely. Part of this responsibility is a driver acknowledging when he or she is too tired to drive safely. Fatigued driving is exceptionally dangerous.
Most drivers have been behind the wheel while tired at some point. However, you may know that there is a distinct difference between being a little sleepy and dangerously fatigued. One of the dangers of fatigued diving is that people are often unaware of how tired they really are or unaware of how being overly tired can impact their behavior behind the wheel. A sleepy Tennessee driver can exhibit some of the same behaviors as drunk or distracted drivers.
Too tired to be safe
Fatigued driving may be a more serious problem than you knew. A study conducted by AAA found that as many as one-third of all drivers admitted to being so tired they almost fell asleep within the last month. There are many reasons why fatigue could be an issue, but some believe the issue closely relates to the increased use of prescription sleep aids.
One in five people say they have taken the medication and then made the decision to drive within seven hours of consumption. As you can imagine, this is typically not enough time for the effects of the medication to wear off. Grogginess from medicine and even normal sleepiness can have many of the same effects as alcohol – resulting in a driver having trouble staying in the lanes, keeping eyes open and reacting in enough time to avoid hazards.
Better choices to prevent drowsy driving
There are few simple choices drivers can take that will allow them to stay safe on the road and lower their chance of causing an accident related to drowsy driving. This includes getting enough rest, avoiding certain medications before driving and taking regular breaks. It can also help for drivers to be aware of how they are feeling before they drive and responsible enough to know when they should hand the keys over to someone else.
If you suffered injuries in an accident you believe was the result of a fatigued driver, you have the right to seek compensation through a personal injury claim. You do not have to suffer through the aftermath alone, but you can hold liable parties accountable, whether that person was drunk, distracted or simply too fatigued to drive safely.