It’s safe to say that the vast majority of drivers would never attempt to operate a vehicle after drinking alcohol or taking certain kinds of medication. These same drivers, however, think nothing of fatigued driving – getting behind the wheel (or hopping on their motorcycle) when they’re tired. In their minds, a yawn is not the same as a shot or a pint.
In reality, more than one-third of drivers have engaged in fatigued driving and fallen asleep at the wheel. Some of them are lucky enough to snap back awake in time to avoid a wreck. Some keep driving, seemingly functional while their conscious minds have checked out, only to blink and wonder how they missed their turn 20 miles ago. Too many cause a serious accident, hurting themselves and, often, someone else.
FATIGUED DRIVING STATISTICS
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 4,000 people were killed due to accidents caused by drowsy driving. The NHTSA reported that in 2017, approximately 50,000 people were injured as a result of fatigued driving accidents. Of those 50,000 injured, 795 died as a result of their injuries.
Don’t be a tragic statistic. The signs you shouldn’t be driving are often subtle but can be deadly.
Fatigued Driving Tips
FATIGUED DRIVING TIPS: SIGNS YOU COULD BE TOO TIRED TO DRIVE
1. You didn’t get enough sleep the night before. Combine a restless night with a long day at work, and it’s safe to say you shouldn’t embark on a long, monotonous trip, even if you think you’re stoked on caffeine.
2. You’re using the headrest. If you’re too weary to hold up your head, you’re not alert enough to drive any distance—short or long.
3. You can’t remember driving the last few miles. Muscle memory will only get you so far. If you’re well into your journey and it seems you just left, you’ve been snoozing, possibly even with your eyes open.
4. Your eyes are scratchy. You are obviously too tired to keep going if you constantly have the need to rub your eyes. Pullover at a rest stop and take a nap.
5. You keep hitting the rumble strips. This means you’re driving out of your lane, and you are fatigued driving. Get out from behind the wheel as soon as possible.
6. Your muscles feel twitchy. Lack of sleep can cause the release of stress hormones, which can make you achy, restless, and irritable. If you find you can’t keep from shifting in your seat, or you feel an uncontrollable need to shake out your arms and legs, you’re fatigued driving.
We can help if you’ve been hurt in an accident and you suspect the other driver was fatigued driving. Call The Law Offices of Pat Maloney at (210) 934-6609 today!