Car crashes are caused by a host of factors, some of which are pure negligence by a driver. One of the most important things for drivers to remember is that they need to be mentally and physically ready to drive.
Driver fatigue is a serious problem that’s always avoidable. Any driver who’s tired must ensure they don’t try to continue driving. Instead, they should get off the road and sleep. Common remedies, such as drinking coffee and opening the windows, don’t work effectively.
What Can Cause Driver Fatigue?
There are many causes of driver fatigue. The most common is lack of sleep. This could be due to trouble sleeping the night before, but it can also be a sleep deficit from multiple nights of less-than-ideal sleep.
People who work second and third shifts or who opt to drive at night might also be fatigued. This is because the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, known as the Circadian rhythm, is disrupted when you try to drive at night.
Driving long hours and driving on familiar roads can also contribute to driver fatigue. In some cases, highway hypnosis can also occur. This happens when the lights of oncoming vehicles hypnotize the driver.
Medical conditions and medications can also contribute to driver fatigue. Sleep apnea and diabetes may lead to drowsiness when you’re driving. Medications, including prescriptions and over-the-counter, can cause drowsiness. These usually have warnings about being drowsy and operating heavy machinery.
Why is Driver Fatigue so Dangerous?
Driver fatigue is dangerous because the driver may doze off while driving or become unaware of their surroundings. Microsleeps of a few seconds are common. In some cases, a driver might “zone out” and become unable to react to hazards that are occurring around them.
Think about this: It takes five seconds to drive the full length of a football field if you’re going 55 miles per hour. A microsleep of five seconds is the equivalent of driving that distance blind.
Fatigued driving is similar to drunk driving in some ways. A driver going 18 hours without sleep has similar effects on their ability to drive as someone with a blood-alcohol concentration of .05%. At 20 hours without sleep, the effects on the human body are the same as having a blood-alcohol concentration of .08%.
What Can You Do After a Fatigued Driving Crash?
You should get medical care for injuries if you’re struck by a fatigued driver. Once you do this, you may choose to seek compensation for the financial damages you suffered because of the crash. Reputable car accident lawyers in Grand Rapids, MI can help you if the crash was located in Michigan.
It’s imperative that you act quickly. You only have three years to seek compensation in Michigan. Your claim must be comprehensive, which means it includes all current and future damages related to the injuries. Someone familiar with these cases can look at precedents set in similar cases to determine how much compensation you should seek.