Safe driving depends on your ability to focus on the task at hand. However, a variety of different factors can make it difficult to drive safely. Just as alcohol use and distraction can limit your ability to react to hazards and keep other drivers safe, driving while fatigued can impact your safety and that of other drivers, motorcyclists and pedestrians.
What is the impact of driver fatigue?
Driving while fatigued can significantly impact your reaction time and focus. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that drivers who have gone more than 20 hours without rest can show the same level of impairment as those driving above the legal blood alcohol concentration limit. This triples the likelihood of a car crash.
What subtle signs might indicate that you are drowsy?
While you might know that yawning or nodding off are signs that you should stay off the road, other common indicators of fatigue may be more subtle. These can include:
- Irritated eyes
- Struggling to keep your eyes open or your head up
- Drifting out of the driving lane or toward other vehicles
- Difficulty remembering the driving you have done or difficulty focusing
- Missing turns, failing to see road signs and other navigation challenges
Taking precautions may keep you safe from the dangers of your own fatigue, but other drivers may not take the same care to keep themselves and other drivers safe. If another driver took to the road while drowsy and you were harmed as a result, you may be eligible for compensation after that accident.