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Why is fatigue such a risk to drivers?

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

We all get tired sometimes, and sometimes we need to do things despite being tired. For instance, finishing a paper that we need to hand in first thing the next morning.

Yet sometimes, the safety concerns of tiredness should outweigh any need or desire to do something. Driving is one of those cases.

Tired drivers are more likely to cause a crash

National Safety Council (NSC) statistics show that driver fatigue plays a role in around 100,000 crashes each year. Tiredness affects our driving ability in several ways. Here are three:

1. It takes longer to notice and process information

If you see a car pulling out of an intersection, when you are alert, you may immediately think to brake. When you are tired and your thinking is fuzzy, you may waste seconds wondering whether the car will pull out in time or whether the driver will notice you and stop. That delay could be enough to crash.

2. It takes longer to react

Once you decide there is a threat in the road, you need to brake. A tired brain will take longer to get a braking reaction out of your foot than a fully alert one. All it takes is a previous few seconds of a delay to cause a wreck.

3. You are more likely to make the wrong decision

Think about doing math homework as a kid when tired. You probably got more answers right when you were feeling fresh. It’s the same when someone is driving. It’s easier to make mistakes when you’re simply exhausted.

People get tired for all sorts of reasons, many of them unavoidable. Yet they still can choose whether or not to drive. If a fatigued driver injures you in a crash, you will need legal help to hold them responsible and claim compensation.

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