If you got into a car and the driver reeked of alcohol, you would get straight back out. If you got in and the driver spent the journey checking their phone, you would tell them to stop. Yet, if you got in and that same driver started yawning, you are more likely to feel sorry for them than anything.
We all get tired at some point, so it is easy to sympathize when we see drvers with signs of fatigue. Yet, fatigued drivers can be as dangerous as those who are drunk or distracted.
What makes a tired driver such a big risk?
Think about what happens when you feel tired at work. You may yawn, which results in your eyes closing momentarily. If someone tells you something, you might have to apologize because you did not notice they were talking. You might sit in your seat with a thousand-yard stare, looking at the screen in front of you but not really seeing. Now translate all those actions to driving. Here are some of the things that tiredness could make a driver do:
- Close their eyes for a few seconds at a time
- Struggle to pay attention to the road or notice things happening
- React slower when they need to react fast
Drivers need to be alert while driving. Alcohol and distractions such as phones reduce alertness but so does fatigue. Working long hours or staying up late may all be necessary at some point. Yet drivers must realize that doing so reduces their ability to drive safely. If a tired driver crashes into you, you need to hold them accountable for the compensation you need for your injuries.