When thinking about causes of car accidents, drunk driving or distracted driving tend to pop into people’s heads first. We think of people driving aggressively or recklessly bobbing and weaving through traffic at high rates of speed. We might even consider intense weather events such as ice storms, high winds or thunderstorms as the cause.
However, what tends to get a little less attention is that driving while tired or fatigued can be just as dangerous. In fact, according to a study called the Large Truck Crash Causation Study, 13% of commercial drivers said that they felt fatigued at the time of their accident.
What causes fatigue?
Fatigue isn’t quite the same as sleepiness. It is more of an experience of extreme drowsiness or lethargy, and it can make us feel disoriented or as if we are moving in slow motion. We become fatigued for many reasons, including:
- Extreme physical or mental exertion without proper recovery
- Not enough sleep or poor-quality sleep
- Working long hours without proper breaks or recovery time
- Prolonged exposure to work- or life-related stress
Fatigue can have a massive impact on a driverʻs safety. It can increase the possibility of lane-drifting or closing oneʻs eyes for too long, and it can cause delayed reaction time. Getting adequate sleep and taking good care of oneself are critical for employees who spend a lot of time on the road for their work.
Someone who does not recognize and address their own driver fatigue could cause a motor vehicle accident. If you become injured due to someone elseʻs negligence, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim against them.