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Is fatigued driving as bad as (or even worse than) drunk driving?

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2023 | Car Accidents

male driving while sleepy

The dangers of drunk driving are well known. Every year in the United States, for instance, roughly a third of all fatalities are attributed to impaired driving. This impairment typically comes from alcohol, although there are also cases with other types of drugs.

That being said, many people do not think that it is all that dangerous to drive when they’re feeling fatigued. They may not like it, and they may buy a cup of coffee or turn up the music to try to stay awake. But they’re far less likely to pull off of the road. They just think they have to tough it out and get to their destination.

Sleep experts disagree. They point out that fatigue can impact your motor skills and cognitive function in much the same way that alcohol does. From a driving perspective, there is not actually that much difference and fatigued drivers also cause accidents resulting in severe injuries and even fatalities.

A reduction in reaction times

One of the clearest ways that this happens is when people just don’t have the reaction times that they need to be safe on the road. If traffic stops ahead of them, they don’t notice in time. They overlook little details. They may only have seconds to react, and even a split-second delay – caused by being tired – could lead to an accident.

Of course, there are also more dramatic accidents, such as cases where people actually nod off behind the wheel. This can lead to them losing control of the vehicle, driving off the shoulder or drifting over the center line and into oncoming traffic. Once again, it only takes a few seconds for something like this to happen.

If you have been injured by a fatigued driver or anyone else who made a reckless or negligent decision on the road, you may need to seek financial compensation. Be sure you know about all the steps you can take.