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3 points to know about fatigued driving

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2024 | Personal Injury Law

Fatigued driving is a serious issue that can cause significant injuries to innocent individuals. This is an entirely preventable cause of motor vehicle crashes because drivers shouldn’t get behind the wheel when they’re too tired to drive safely.  

There are a few things that everyone should know about fatigued driving. This may help drivers avoid operating a vehicle while they’re too tired and help victims of these crashes determine what to do next. 

Fatigued driving can be as dangerous as impaired driving 

Some fatigued drivers, especially those who haven’t slept in 20 hours or longer, will have the same effects on their driving abilities as someone legally drunk. Drowsiness that hasn’t reached that point is still dangerous because the driver may not have the reaction time or cognitive ability to drive safely.  

Microsleeps can be catastrophic 

Microsleeps, which last only a few seconds, leave the vehicle without anyone operating it until the driver wakes. At 55 miles per hour, a vehicle moves the length of a regulation football field in only five seconds. That’s ample distance for a catastrophic crash, so think about what may happen if a driver falls asleep for that long. 

Only sleep stops fatigued driving 

There aren’t any quick fixes for fatigue. Only adequate sleep will prevent fatigued driving. Other actions, such as drinking coffee or opening the windows, can give the driver time to find somewhere to stop.  

Victims of fatigued driving crashes can suffer significant injuries that require urgent medical care. They may seek compensation for the financial damages they’re dealing with. Washington has strict time limits for these cases, so swift action is critical.