When you think about the great safety concerns on the road, you may think about things like distracted driving and drunk driving. However, you may not think about the specific dangers of when a person gets behind the wheel while he or she is too tired. Fatigued driving can be incredibly dangerous, and it is one of the leading causes of accidents in Missouri and across the country.
Fatigue is particularly dangerous because many people are reluctant to admit when they may be too tired to drive safely. They may not even realize how tired they truly are until they are dozing off while behind the wheel. The American Sleep Foundation estimates that about half of all adult drivers get behind the wheel while fatigued, many of them completely unaware of the risks involved with sleepy driving.
Drowsiness and the impact on a driver’s abilities
There is evidence that suggests that drivers who are too fatigued to be safe often display some of the same behaviors as drunk drivers. Even being just a little sleepy can decrease a driver’s ability to be safe. Some of the effects of fatigue on a driver include the following:
- Drowsiness significantly increases a driver’s reaction times, making it more likely he or she will not stop, decelerate or turn in enough time to avoid a collision.
- Tired drivers are much less able to concentrate on driving and notice hazards in the road.
- People who go approximately 20 hours without sleep experience the same mental and physical impairment as a person who has a BAC of 0.08%.
Drowsy driving may be much more prevalent than you may think. Estimates suggest that around 100,000 crashes each year are the result of drowsy driving. If you suffered injuries in a serious crash, it is possible that fatigued driving played a role in what happened.
Moving forward after an accident
If you are the victim of an accident caused by a drowsy driver, you have options. Missouri personal injury laws allow for victims of negligence to seek appropriate compensation for their pain and suffering, and this may be a way for you to recoup the losses you experienced as a result of your accident.
The aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming and confusing, and you may be unsure of a reasonable way forward. You may want to start by seeking a complete evaluation of your case and explanation of the specific options available to you.