Most people know that drinking and driving is a danger to themselves and others on the road. You take as many precautions as you can in order to avoid engaging in this dangerous behavior.
Even so, would you ever give a second thought to driving when you are tired? Most people don't. However, it can present the same dangers as drunk driving and distracted driving.
Indicators of fatigue behind the wheel
You would recognize some factors as drowsy driving, but perhaps not others that are just as telling. Below are the most common indicators that you should probably not drive before getting some rest:
- If you can't remember the last few miles you just drove
- If you rub your eyes a lot
- If you find your vehicle too close to another sharing the road with you
- If you miss turns or road signs
- If you can't quite keep your head up
- If you struggle to keep your eyes open
- If you drift out of your lane
If you are awake for at least 18 hours and then drive, your ability to do so safely is the same as a driver with a 0.05 blood alcohol concentration. After 21 hours of no sleep, the drunk driving equivalent goes up to 0.10. As you can imagine, your ability to drive safely at that point reduces dramatically.
The more you know...
Most people would say that it's nearly impossible not to experience fatigue these days when sleep seems a luxury instead of a necessity, and you may agree. Even so, you don't want to unnecessarily put yourself or others in danger. The more information you have about tired driving, the easier it is to avoid. Even a short rest could help. If you only have to go short distances, having some caffeine may be enough to get you through.
Even when you take precautions to avoid drowsy driving, the driver next to you may not have done the same. If you do end up suffering serious injuries due to another driver's negligence, you may have the opportunity to pursue compensation for your financial losses and other damages connected to the crash.