Tired driving can be as dangerous as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Those who drive long hours or work long hours may have an increased risk of drowsy or fatigued driving.
According to the CDC, only 37% of workers receive less than the recommended amount of sleep. Those who suffer from fatigue on the road have a higher likelihood of motor vehicle accidents.
What causes driver fatigue?
There are various causes of driver fatigue that some drivers may not consider. For example, you may have enough sleep, but if you remain awake for too many consecutive hours, you may risk fatigue on the road. Likewise, any monotonous tasks or long periods of inactivity can result in fatigue.
Your body has its sleep and wake cycle. The rest and wake cycle tells you when you should be most alert and when you need to sleep. You may feel an urge to sleep in the morning more than at any other time.
How do you know you have driver fatigue?
If you find yourself driving for miles and forget the last few, you may be more tired than you think. You may lose a sense of the road around you and experience what many call tunnel vision. Many fatigued drivers experience microsleeps without realizing it. Microsleeps refer to brief episodes of sleep that last for a second up to 30 seconds.
When drivers catch themselves reacting more slowly, nodding off or drifting from their lane, they should find a safe place to pull over as soon as possible.
No matter how experienced you are, you cannot overcome your body’s sleep needs. You can prevent a crash by remaining off the roads when fatigued.