The dangers associated with impaired drivers, aggressive drivers, and drivers who speed excessively are well known to all of us. The fact is, however, that fatigued drivers are also extremely dangerous and are often responsible for serious traffic accidents. When you consider how you react when you become drowsy, you have a good idea about just how risky it is to get behind the wheel of a car when fatigued. In the unfortunate event that you have been injured by a fatigued driver, you should contact a personal injury lawyer in Killeen as soon as you can.
Fatigued Driver Statistics
The National Safety Council confirms that driving while fatigued is, indeed, another form of impaired driving. In fact, the statistics related to fatigued driving are quite dire, and they include:
- When drivers are tired, their reaction time is slower, they are less able to recognize hazards, and their attention span decreases.
- Fatigued drivers are three times as likely to be in car accidents.
- A Motorist who has been awake for more than 20 hours is as impaired as a motorist who is over the legal limit for blood alcohol content.
Drivers who have downed a drink or two recognize the risk associated with their actions, but drivers who are too fatigued to drive safely often are not aware of the inherent danger of driving while drowsy. Some fatigued motorists even go through periods of micro-sleep, which amounts to short, unintended bursts of inattention that are extremely dangerous.
Common Accidents Caused by Fatigued Drivers
Fatigued drivers are far more likely to be involved in dangerous accidents than are well-rested drivers. While a driver who is too tired to drive safely can cause nearly any kind of accident, there are two types of car accidents that are most closely associated with drowsy driving, including:
- Side-Swipe Accidents – Drowsy drivers are prone to drifting in and out of their lanes (much like drivers who are impaired by alcohol are), and this can lead to dangerous side-swipe accidents. To make matters worse, a drowsy driver who drifts into another lane can end up in a lane that is moving in the opposite direction – making a head-on collision possible. Finally, a fatigued driver who finds himself or herself drifting into another lane is likely to overcorrect and make the already dangerous situation that much more dangerous.
- Rear-End Accidents – A sleepy driver is less capable of paying attention to the traffic all around him or her and, as such, is more likely to plow into the back of another vehicle.