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This issue affects drivers like alcohol and is hard to spot

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | car accidents

People often put a lot of trust in their own driving capabilities. They may overestimate their skill. They may also wrongfully believe that they can identify drivers who might put them at risk and avoid them in traffic. Some drivers engaged in dangerous behavior are easy to spot. People can see someone with a phone in their hands from across the intersection. Drunk drivers swerving all over the road are also occasionally identifiable even in heavy traffic.

However, there is another issue that affects a significant percentage of motorists on any given day that is not often readily apparent to others in traffic. This common safety concern contributes to a lot of collisions and may affect drivers much like alcohol impairment does.

Drowsy driving is a common practice

The average adult simply does not have enough time to meet all of their personal responsibilities while taking care of their health. The need to care for children and other family members, maintain a residence and work a job might leave someone with very little downtime. In fact, they may have to sacrifice their sleep to clean up after dinner or hit the gym a few times a week.

Going without sleep makes someone dangerous on the road. Drowsy or fatigued drivers demonstrate forms of impairment much like those that drunk drivers exhibit. They have a hard time focusing on their surroundings. Their fatigue increases their reaction times, making it less likely that they can respond effectively to someone stopping in traffic or an animal that walks into the street.

They may also have reduced decision-making ability, meaning they may not make the right choice in an unexpected situation. The longer someone has gone since sleeping, the more pronounced those effects become.

As if that weren’t frightening enough, fatigue can also lead to people suddenly losing consciousness. Some people fall asleep at the wheel, while others might experience micro-sleep that only lasts for a few seconds. People may not even notice if they fall asleep and wake up quickly without going off the road. Fatigued drivers are all but impossible to spot unless they have already lost control of a vehicle or made a mistake in traffic.

Motorists familiar with issues that contribute to some of the worst car crashes may be able to hold drowsy and other irresponsible drivers accountable for their choices. Filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit could be the right response to a crash caused by a drowsy or sleeping motorist.