The effects of driving while tired are as dangerous as the effects of driving while intoxicated. Learn to recognize the signs before disaster strikes.

Warning Signs That a Driver Is Dangerously Fatigued

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Man yawning while driving a car

Your brain needs adequate rest to be able to function at full capacity. When you don’t get enough sleep or you have been awake for too long, your brain will not be able to perform tasks properly. The “inebriated” symptoms will become more intense the longer you deprive your brain of rest and will eventually cause:

  • Impaired reaction time, poor judgment, and blurry vision
  • Issues processing information and short-term memory loss
  • Decreased performance, vigilance, and motivation
  • Increased moodiness and aggression

These sleep deprivation effects obviously don’t mix well with the tasks required by driving.

Effects of Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue is responsible for an estimated 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and 1500 deaths each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The only ways to protect yourself and your passengers from the dangerous effects of fatigued driving are to stop driving and get the rest you need, and to anticipate another driver's symptoms so you can take evasive action before his fatigue causes a collision.

Signs of Drowsy Driving

When a driver is unable to do the following, he or she is too tired to drive and should pull over and rest:

  • Concentrate on the road
  • Focus on the task of driving
  • Remember his route or how he got where he is
  • Stay in his lane
  • Keep his eyes open and focused
  • Control his movements

When you notice the following actions in another vehicle on the road, you can assume that driver is overtired and should increase your following distance or pass him to avoid the danger:

  • Continuously swerving
  • Drifting in and out of lanes
  • Speeding up or slowing down without reason
  • Suddenly braking without reason

Safety First

If you ignore the signs of drowsy driving in yourself or another driver, you may wind up in a catastrophic collision. If you feel tired or experience any of the symptoms of fatigue while driving, pull over immediately and rest until you’re able to focus properly. If you witness symptoms of fatigue in other drivers, increase your distance and contact the police to intercept the driver before he causes an accident.

Category: Car Accidents


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