To some, comparisons between fatigued driving and driving under the influence are unfair. Drinking heavily or using drugs before driving reflects both reckless and illegal actions. However, a tired driver could suffer from many similar performance problems as someone who is intoxicated. And an excessively fatigued driver might cause a fatal accident. Anyone who causes a severe accident may find a Virginia courtroom feels drowsy driving represents negligent behavior.
Drowsy driving presents dangers on the road
Reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveal fatigued driving contributes to thousands of car crashes annually. Even a brief few seconds of fatigue-induced lost concentration could prove disastrous. The reasons why aren’t difficult to grasp.
An intoxicated driver may experience many negative effects that make driving unsafe. Poor concentration, reduced reaction time, and the risk of passing out at the wheel could add to a collision. A drowsy driver might not be as “impaired” as a drugged or intoxicated driver, but the tired driver may suffer from several identical limitations.
Spending too many hours on the road or failing to get enough sleep may mimic intoxicated driving troubles. A driver battling exhaustion might not see a car stopped at a red light nor notice a pedestrian entering a crosswalk. Disastrous accidents, possibly fatal ones, could then occur.
Steps to decrease drowsy driving
Thankfully, vehicles now come with technology to warn a driver about blind spots, lane drifts, and more. Even the most advanced technology has limitations, and drivers would benefit from getting the proper sleep and not taking substances that increase fatigue. Even choosing better times of the day to commute might help improve safety.
Drivers may not realize that fatigue increases the chance for an accident threefold. Things could become even worse when traffic and weather conditions add to the dangers.
A case for negligent behavior may be possible when fatigued driving contributes to car accidents. Victims of collisions could contact an attorney to discuss their legal options. Lawsuits and insurance claims might be part of any strategy to recover losses.