3 reasons drowsy driving can lead to preventable car crashes

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Fatigue or exhaustion is common among working adults in the United States. Between demanding work schedules, daily commutes and household responsibilities, people may barely have enough time to meet their own basic needs.

Oftentimes, adequate rest is the first thing someone sacrifices when their schedule becomes too demanding. Unfortunately, those who do not get enough sleep at night can be a danger to themselves and others. Drowsy or fatigued drivers are responsible for thousands of serious motor vehicle collisions every year. The exhaustion that someone feels can contribute to their crash risk due in no small part to the three issues outlined below.

The possibility of falling asleep

Driving is a somewhat stressful and demanding process. People have to carefully observe their surroundings and be ready to react with minimal notice to changing traffic circumstances. Unfortunately, driving can also be somewhat dull, and people may find themselves dozing off while in control of a vehicle. Approximately one in every 25 drivers admits to falling asleep at the wheel within the last 30 days at least once. Anyone who does lose consciousness while driving could easily cause a crash as a result.

Diminished focus

Researchers often compare the effects of fatigue to the effects of alcohol. Drivers often have a much more difficult time keeping their attention on the road in front of them when they feel tired. They may even distract themselves by turning up the radio or calling others on the phone in a bid to keep themselves awake.

Diminished decision-making ability

Fatigue affects someone’s rational capabilities. Many people who have gone almost a full day without rest have difficulty making smart decisions. They might therefore react improperly to changing traffic conditions. Perhaps they swerve, which could lead them into oncoming traffic and cause a preventable crash. The longer someone has gone without adequate sleep, the more likely they are to experience noticeable impairment in their ability to react appropriately in traffic.

While there is no test to prove fatigue or exhaustion, it is still possible to hold a fatigued driver accountable for causing a crash in many cases. Focusing on the conduct that caused the crash could help someone file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Those affected by the poor choices of others, such as the decision to drive while drowsy, may have the right to seek financial justice after a wreck that causes them harm.