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David M. Kindopp

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Fatigued driving can lead to deadly crashes

Anyone who’s driving a vehicle has to ensure they’re in the physical and mental state to drive safely. When a driver is fatigued, they may not make good decisions when they’re driving. This can lead to crashes that cause catastrophic or fatal injuries.

While you might assume that fatigued driving is only the result of lack of sleep, there are other factors that can play a role in this situation. Learning a bit about fatigued driving may help drivers to avoid making this critical error.

Looking beyond lack of sleep

It’s possible to drive while fatigued even if you get adequate sleep the night before. The time of day you’re on the road can play a role in how fatigued you are. The circadian rhythm is the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. This can lead you to be less alert and more fatigued in the early morning hours when you’d normally be asleep. Shift workers are especially susceptible to fatigued driving after they get off their shift.

It’s also possible to become fatigued if you’re driving on familiar roads or in monotonous conditions. In a way, this could be considered a type of highway hypnosis because your instincts may take over and cause you to be “out of it” while you drive.

Anyone who’s a victim of a fatigued driving crash should ensure they’re getting the medical care they need. This can be costly and lengthy. These individuals may opt to pursue a claim for compensation to help them cover the costs of care, as well as other financial impacts of the wreck. California law limits how long you have to do this, so be sure you work with someone who can get this taken care of quickly.