Fatigue is a common cause of crashes in the United States. In fact, a survey of the population showed that around 37% of all working adults weren’t getting at least seven hours of sleep each night.
Fatigue can be caused by many factors, so it’s important for you to identify those in your life to try to avoid or mitigate them. For example, if you haven’t been getting enough sleep because you need more help around your home, you may start looking into hiring babysitters or in-home help for a few days a week.
The causes of fatigue are varied
The reasons that fatigue affects drivers are varied, which can make them hard to eliminate. For example, some common causes of fatigue include:
- Not getting enough sleep over the course of several days
- Having to wake up too early, so your sleep/wake cycle is still urging you to sleep
- Boredom or long periods of inactivity
- Health conditions, like sleep apnea
- Medications that cause drowsiness
All of these issues may lead to fatigue behind the wheel, which may lead to further problems, like:
- Drifting in and out of your lane
- Falling asleep behind the wheel
- Not reacting quickly to external stimuli
- Having microsleeps
- Forgetting how you reached your destination
- Losing your sense of peripheral vision
These problems may lead to collisions with other drivers. That’s why it’s necessary to stop driving if you begin to feel tired.
What can you do to become more alert again?
Some of the simplest ways to become alert again include drinking caffeine for a short burst of energy or taking a 20-minute nap. These actions may help you finish out a short drive safely. Once you get to your destination, make time to eat, exercise, sleep and rest your body and mind so that you can be safer behind the wheel the next time you drive.
If you’re hit by someone who drifts off to sleep while driving, you may be able to hold them accountable and seek compensation for all you’ve been through. They should be held liable for any injuries caused by their reckless actions.