Drowsy driving is a serious issue affecting millions of people each year and can lead to dangerous road accidents.

This article will discuss driver fatigue, how it can impact your ability to stay safe on the road, and what to do if you or a family member becomes a personal injury victim.


What is Driver Fatigue?

Driver fatigue is a state of mental or physical exhaustion resulting from prolonged driving periods without rest, sleep, or proper breaks. It’s an impairment to a person’s ability to concentrate or respond quickly while driving.

A study found that being awake for 17-19 hours has similar effects on your body as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.05%. This means two things:

(1) reaction time is up to 50% slower for some tests, and the level of accuracy on the road was significantly poorer than at a BAC level of 0.05%, and

(2) if you are fatigued while driving, it is just as dangerous as if you were under the influence of alcohol.


What Causes Driver Fatigue?

A variety of factors causes driver fatigue:


Prevalence of Accidents Caused by Driver Fatigue

The prevalence of accidents caused by driver fatigue is alarmingly high.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowsy driving is estimated to be responsible for over 6,000 fatal crashes in the United States annually.

Even more alarming is that, according to the National Sleep Foundation, over half of American adult drivers admit to regularly driving while feeling drowsy.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports an estimated 100,000 crashes per year are caused by drowsy driving. These crashes are responsible for almost 800 deaths and 50,000 injuries yearly.

Unfortunately, these figures are likely even higher due to under-reported incidents.

The organization also reports that fatigue-related crashes leading to injury or fatality cost society an immense $109 billion yearly, not even factoring in the property damage.

The impact of drowsy driving is particularly pronounced among young adults aged 16 to 24 years old; this demographic is twice as likely as other age groups to be involved in a car crash due to fatigue.

Drowsy drivers are likelier to speed, tailgate, and make dangerous lane changes—actions that can easily lead to severe collisions and devastating consequences for drivers and pedestrians.


Who Is Affected by Driver Fatigue?

Driver fatigue can affect anyone, but certain groups are more vulnerable to its effects than others.

Commercial vehicle drivers, shift workers, and truck drivers are especially at risk due to their long hours on the road and the irregularity of their sleep schedules.

A report shows that commercial passenger vehicle (CPV) drivers are four and a half times more likely to be part of a fatal accident than other drivers and motor vehicles. Another study shows an alarmingly high number of CPV accidents took place in early morning, between 2 am and 4 am, when commercial drivers had often been up for duty for up to 11 hours.

Similarly, shift workers and truck drivers have also been linked with a higher risk of becoming involved in fatal crashes due to driver fatigue.

Special attention must be paid to these individuals to ensure they get enough rest between shifts and take adequate precautions while driving. Employers must be aware of the legal requirements they must meet when providing safe work environments for employees who drive or operate vehicles.

Regulations such as maximum driving hours and minimum rest breaks may help reduce the risk of driver fatigue and ultimately lead to safer roads for everyone.


Symptoms of Drowsy Driving

You know you’re experiencing drowsiness while driving when you have the following signs of fatigue:


How to Combat Driver Fatigue

When feeling tired and sleepy behind the wheel, remember to pull off the road at a safe location. Get adequate sleep before continuing your journey. Make sure you have enough rest before long-distance drives. And take regular breaks at least every two hours during extended trips to remain well-rested and alert while driving.

Pay attention to any signs of physical or mental exhaustion to stay safe while behind the wheel and reduce the chance of getting into an accident due to driver fatigue. Most importantly, avoid alcohol or drugs before driving.

If you want to combat driver fatigue, here are more ways to do it:


If You’ve Been in a Drowsy Driving Accident, You May Be Entitled to Compensation

Drivers who experience driver fatigue are more likely to make mistakes, be less attentive, and have slower reaction times—all of which increase their risk of being involved in an accident.

Drivers must be aware of their actions and environment to prevent these incidents.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by fatigued driving, it is crucial to contact a skilled catastrophic injury attorney as soon as possible. Frantz Law Group’s attorneys have decades of experience handling these complex cases and are committed to helping you obtain the maximum compensation allowed under the law. We can evaluate your case and provide personalized advice regarding your legal options so you know precisely what steps to take to protect your rights and interests.

The Frantz Law Group specializes in catastrophic injury cases, with attorneys who understand how devastating these types of accidents can be for victims and their families. We have extensive experience helping individuals and families get the compensation they deserve for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Our team is dedicated to providing compassionate legal guidance throughout the entire process.

Don’t wait—contact the Frantz Law Group today for a free consultation and find out how we can help you get the justice you deserve following an injury caused by driver fatigue.