Each day, thousands of people are injured in car crashes due to the actions of others. Poor driving behaviors such as speeding or drunk driving get a lot of attention, yet there is one thing that is just as dangerous that receives hardly any attention. What’s more, it is incredibly common.
Most people drive their car when they are too tired at some point in their lives. It’s hard to avoid it as tiredness can catch you seemingly unaware. One minute you are talking away, then out of nowhere, you start to yawn.
Studies have found that drowsiness affects drivers in a similar way to alcohol
Both drowsiness and drunkenness affect your brain, reducing your ability to make the kind of rapid decision that could mean the difference between avoiding a crash or causing one. Drowsiness also increases the chance that you make the wrong decision, again increasing collision risk.
Does drowsiness really happen out of the blue?
It can occur that way, but generally, it is predictable to some extent. Someone who goes out partying all night, stays up till 3 am studying, works a night shift, or has to get up to attend to their baby should expect fatigue to affect them at some point the next day. So should someone who has accumulated tiredness because they have not had a day off work all month.
While going out partying is clearly a choice, attending to a baby or working extra to pay the bills is less clear-cut. What is always a choice is whether or not to drive or to continue driving once you notice the first signs of tiredness.
If a driver continues and causes a crash that injures you, they should expect you to hold them responsible for your injuries.