Driving fatigue is a psychological and physiological event that can affect any driver. The impact of fatigue can cause strain on the vehicle’s driver and creates a potential for a motor vehicle accident, which can cause injury to the driver and other vehicles on the road.
The risks associated with driver fatigue have a large impact on motor vehicle accidents in the United States. A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims fatigue or sleep related collisions cause 56,000 accidents per year, which cause 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths. Fatigue can also increase the likeliness of a driver engaging in risk-taking behavior, increasing the chances of a motor vehicle accident. In addition, sleepy drivers also risk personal and economic costs. Motor vehicle accidents can result in financial settlements against the driver for the victims of the accident.
Driver Fatigue Symptoms can be Identified and Prevented
The symptoms of driver fatigue are:
- Sleepy or exhausted feeling
- Frequently yawning
- Irritability or feeling impatient
- Difficultly concentrating or daydreaming
- Eye strain, sore or tired eyes
- Driving over the center line or over the edge of the road
Avoiding Driver Fatigue
If you are experiencing warning signs of driver fatigue, there are several actions that can help reduce the symptoms and help prevent a motor vehicle accident. The main treatments for fatigue are sleep or rest. It is important for any motor vehicle operator to plan ahead for travel by getting an adequate amount of sleep prior to driving. Planning ahead also includes taking breaks every two hours and sharing the driving responsibilities. It is also helpful to make sure the driver has ergonomically correct positioning in the vehicle, necessary eyewear including sunglasses to reduce eyestrain, adequate hydration and appropriate environmental stimuli like music or conversation.
Fatigue can affect any anyone. Drivers should be aware of the symptoms of fatigue and take the necessary steps to prevent motor vehicle accidents. If you have been injured in a car collision due to another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Please contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case and help you hold the responsible party accountable for your injuries.