Causes of fatigued driving

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Personal Injury

Drivers need to be wide awake and alert so they can drive safely. Anytime a driver becomes fatigued, they can make errors while driving that can result in catastrophic consequences.

Several factors can lead to fatigue while driving. Understanding them may help drivers to avoid them. It can also help victims of fatigued driving crashes to understand this contributing factor, as it may become a focal point in a personal injury case.

Improper sleep

One of the most direct causes of fatigued driving is improper sleep. This encompasses insufficient duration of sleep and poor quality of sleep that fails to go through the necessary cycles for restorative rest. Driving without adequate sleep can impair reaction times, decision-making abilities, and overall alertness, significantly increasing the risk of accidents. Sleep deprivation’s effects on driving can be akin to those of alcohol impairment, with similar decreases in performance and an increased likelihood of causing an accident.

Swing and night shift

Individuals working swing or night shifts face a unique challenge regarding fatigued driving. These irregular working hours disrupt the body’s natural circadian rhythms. The human body is naturally inclined to sleep at night, so working during these hours can make it difficult to obtain restful sleep during the day. As a result, workers on these shifts may find themselves driving to or from work when their bodies are in a natural state of rest, making them more susceptible to fatigue and its associated dangers on the road.

Medical conditions and medications

Various medical conditions and medications can contribute to driver fatigue. Conditions such as sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy and thyroid imbalances can significantly affect sleep quality and quantity, leading to daytime sleepiness. Additionally, many medications, including those for depression, anxiety and allergies, have side effects such as drowsiness.

Victims of fatigued driving crashes may opt to pursue a compensation claim. This can help them recover medical care costs, missed wages and other financial damages. Time limits apply to these cases, so having a legal representative handle the matter may be beneficial.