You might not have given the dangers of fatigued driving much thought. After all, most people have jumped into their car with relief after a draining shift at work or after a night out ended later than planned — or maybe just after a late night at home due to the demands of family.
Yet, driver fatigue can be a serious problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates it played a role in 633 deaths on the roads in 202, with many more injuries. Estimates for 2017 suggest it led to at least 91,000 crashes.
Shift workers are particularly at risk
The constant change in shift times disrupts their body’s natural rhythms. Those who always work nights are also prime candidates for drowsy driving crashes because, however long they work nights, the body is designed to sleep when it’s dark and be awake when it’s light.
Medications can also affect alertness
Certain medicines have soporific effects. Anyone taking medicines should check with their doctor whether they can still drive or not. While being unable to drive might be a hassle, causing a car crash would be far worse.
Avoiding driving while tired or drowsy is not just about reducing the risk you cause a crash. It’s about being alert, so you have a better chance of avoiding a crash someone else causes that injures you – perhaps because they decided to drive while tired. If it happens anyway, get help to find out more about claiming compensation.