Avoid driver fatigue accidents by knowing causes and prevention. Driver fatigue is a serious problem in our country. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatigue played a role in 2.2 to 2.6 percent of all fatal crashes between 2005 and 2009. Additionally, in 2009, the NHTSA estimates that more than 30,000 injuries resulted from driver fatigue accidents, and a shocking 72,000 crashes involved some sort of drowsy driving. Those are some sobering statistics.
Fortunately, driver fatigue is entirely preventable. By knowing the common causes and following a few simple guidelines, drivers can prevent these dangerous accidents from ever occurring.
Causes of Driver Fatigue Accidents
Driver fatigue accidents aren’t just caused by simply falling asleep at the wheel. There are a number of underlying causes and conditions that can lend themselves to this type of accident. Specifically, driver fatigue accidents most commonly occur because drivers:
- Have been behind the wheel for a lengthy period of time.
- Operate their vehicles late at night.
- Fail to keep their minds stimulated while driving.
- Fail to travel with a buddy and drive in shifts.
- Drive on back roads where traffic is sparse and the scenery is monotonous.
- Fail to get enough rest before getting in the vehicle.
By being aware of these common causes, drivers can work to avoid driver fatigue accidents on their local roads and highways.
Prevention of Driver Fatigue Accidents
Driver fatigue accidents can lead to devastating consequences for both the driver and others on the road at the time, including pedestrians and nearby drivers. Fortunately, many of these accidents are preventable by taking just a few simple precautionary steps. To help prevent driver fatigue accidents from occurring, drivers should take care to:
- Always drive with another person.
The passenger can not only help keep the driver occupied and alert whilst driving, but they can also offer to take turns behind the wheel, so neither party gets too drowsy to drive.
- Get plenty of sleep before a long trip.
When a road trip is on the horizon, drivers should always take care to get plenty of rest in the days before embarking. This will best ensure they’re alert and awake for the long drive ahead.
- Never drive late at night.
Driving at times when you’d normally be sleeping is a big no-no. Your body is conditioned to fall asleep at a certain time, and trying to push past that can have disastrous consequences. Always pull over and get some rest when it’s late at night or early in the morning.
- Allot plenty of time to get to the destination.
Being under the gun and up against a time crunch can often cause drivers to push themselves, driving when they’re tired, drowsy, or otherwise unfit to be behind the wheel. Be sure to always allot plenty of time to get to your final destination, so you’re not forced to push yourself beyond your limits.
- Keep stimulated.
Driving alone for long stretches of road can get mind-numbing. Drivers should make efforts to keep their minds active and their bodies stimulated. They can play music, roll down the window, or even pull over and take a quick walk around – anything at all they can do to keep the whole body alert and at attention.
- Stay on busy roadways.
Driving on dark back roads or roads with little traffic can cause drivers to get drowsy faster. Always make efforts to stay on well-lit, busy roadways. This will ensure you’re kept on your toes and are always on alert. Avoid driver fatigue accidents by knowing causes and prevention. These are just a few of the many ways you can make efforts to avoid dangerous driver fatigue accidents that could injure you, your passengers, and others on the road. If you’ve been hurt or involved in a driver fatigue accident, contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today to discuss your legal options.