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Tired drivers endanger themselves and others

When a New York driver gets behind the wheel, his or her main priority should be to stay focused and drive safely. This is difficult to do when overly tired, even if it's during the day and when driving only short distances. Fatigued driving is actually quite dangerous because most of the time, drivers are unwilling to admit when they may be too tired to drive safely or unable to stay focused on the road.

Like distracted driving or drunk driving, tired drivers may swerve, have difficulty keeping a consistent speed and react too late to certain hazards. It is actually quite risky to operate a vehicle while fatigued, and it can lead to a significant increase in the chance for an accident. If you suffered injuries in a crash because of a negligent driver, it is possible fatigue played a role in what happened to you.

Too tired to be safe

According to the National Sleep Foundation, around half of all adults believe they do not get enough sleep at night. These adults consistently get behind the wheel while drowsy. Around 20% admit they have fallen asleep at the wheel at some point. Most people underestimate the dangers of fatigued driving. After all, everyone feels sleepy from time to time. However, being significantly drowsy can have the following effects on a driver:

  • Reaction times, cognitive skills and the ability to process events as they are happening all diminish the drowsier a driver gets.
  • People who go 20 hours without sleep experience the same effects as a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%, which is the legal limit.
  • When fatigued, a driver is three times more likely to be in a crash.

Drivers can also experience something called microsleep, which happens when a driver is so sleepy he or she loses focus for a few seconds at a time. Even four or five seconds of inattentiveness can mean a driver traveled the length of a football field without paying attention to the road or what is going on around him or her. 

Victims of fatigued driving 

If you believe you are the victim of an accident caused by a fatigued driver, you could have grounds to pursue damages through a civil claim. While this cannot undo your injuries or reverse the damage to your property, it can help you obtain the resources you need to recover and move forward. Like a distracted or drunk driver, it is possible to hold a drowsy driver accountable for his or her actions.

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