Asleep at the Wheel: What You Need to Know About Driver Fatigue

Driver FatigueIf you are like most drivers, then safety is one of your main concerns. Having routine maintenance to your vehicle and doing pre-trip inspections is a great way to enhance the degree of safety you have while behind the wheel. There are some factors that can put you and your passengers in danger that have nothing to do with how your car runs. Driver fatigue is responsible for nearly 72,000 crashes a year. Knowing the signs of driver fatigue and how to keep yourself safe from this condition is important. Read below to find out all of the things you need to know regarding driver fatigue.

Causes and Symptoms of Driver Fatigue

The first thing you need to know regarding driver fatigue is what causes it. There are two main causes for this condition. The first one is not getting enough quality sleep before you jump behind the wheel. Without the right amount of sleep things like response times and alertness will suffer. The second cause of driver fatigue is operating your vehicle at times of the day when you would normally be sleeping. If you are not used to driving at night, then you may find yourself dosing off at the wheel.

The next thing you need to know are the symptoms of driver fatigue. If you start experiencing one or more of the following symptoms while behind the wheel, then you need to stop and get some sleep before you do harm to yourself or others.

  • Finding it hard to focus your attention
  • Your head it nodding or your eyes are closing frequently
  • No recollection of what happened in the last few minutes
  • Slower reaction time
  • You find yourself “zoning out”
  • Constantly rubbing your eyes or yawning

Neglecting to take action when you find yourself experiencing the symptoms of driver fatigue can have disastrous consequences.

Who is affected the Most By Driver Fatigue?

While no one is immune to getting fatigued behind the wheel, there are certain groups of people who are at higher risk like:

  • Younger Drivers- A driver who is inexperienced and not used to driving at night can put themselves and other motorists in very dangerous situations.
  • Shift Workers- Working odd hours can lead to a person becoming sleep deprived. Statistics show that shift workers are six times more likely to be involved in fatigue-related crashes.
  • Commercial Truck Drivers- Trying to meet unrealistic deadlines can lead to a commercial truck driver neglecting to sleep. Without the proper amount of sleep, it will be nearly impossible for a truck driver to avoid being involved in a fatigue-related crash.

When involved in an accident that was caused by the other driver being fatigued, you may be entitled to a settlement. The best way to find out what your rights are following a car crash is by consulting with the team at Hilton & Somer, LLC. Contact us at 703-782-8349 to schedule a free consultation.