The Dangers of Driving While Fatigued

St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer - Law Offices of Kevin J Roach, LLCDrowsy driving, also referred to as fatigued driving, is a growing concern in the United States. This type of driving often leads to tragedy – the risks of driving while tired should be enough to keep anyone off the road. Fatigued driving involves the combination of operating a vehicle while the driver has not slept enough. It can also occur among individuals with sleep disorders, those taking medications, individuals that have drank, or even those working abnormal shifts.

No one can know when sleep will overtake the body, but falling asleep at the wheel is extremely dangerous. When you are fatigued, you lose your ability to control the vehicle, since:

  1. You are less able to pay attention to the road.
  2. Your reaction times are significantly slowed, because you may not brake or steer as quickly.
  3. You may not make good or safe decisions while driving.

Statistics Regarding Drowsy Driving

There are some sombering statistics regarding drowsy and fatigued driving, which include:

  • One out of 25 adult drivers who are 18 years or older have reportedly fallen asleep while driving in the past month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were an estimated 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths in 2013 directly related to drowsy drivers. While numbers are estimates, NHTSA actually believes that up to 6,000 fatal crashes have been caused by drowsy drivers.

Are You at Risk for Drowsy Driving?

Most of those driving fatigued are unaware of their threat to public safety. But, there are some drivers who are more susceptible to drowsy driving, such as:

  1. Drivers who do not get adequate sleep at night.
  2. Commercial truck drivers who operate vehicles like tow trucks, tractor trailers and buses.
  3. Shift workers – especially those who work long hours or graveyard shifts.
  4. Drivers with untreated or treated sleep disorders, such as insomnia or breathing issues.
  5. Drivers taking medications that naturally cause drowsiness, like anti-anxiety medications.

Drowsy Driving Can Be Prevented

Being a responsible driver means that you are being a safe driver. It is imperative that all drivers take steps to avoid drowsy driving on the road. This includes getting at least seven hours of sleep each day for adults, and up to eight hours for teenagers. If you have poor sleeping habits, work on improving them by setting a sleep schedule and sticking to it. Also, avoid alcohol or medications that can make you drowsy.

Injured by a Fatigued Driver?

If you were injured in an accident by a drowsy driver, contact the team at The Law Offices of Kevin J. Roach, LLC today. We can assist you with your accident claim. Schedule your free consultation at 636-519-0085 or ask a legal question online and we will be in touch with you shortly.