fatigued driving motorist yawning behind wheel

Fatigued driving is a serious hazard on the road as it is considered impaired driving. When a motorist lacks sleep, fatigue, and drowsiness set in and impair their cognition. This type of impairment severely hinders a motorist’s critical driving capabilities needed to safely operate a vehicle. Unfortunately, fatigued driving is a leading cause of catastrophic accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to fatigued driving, contact one of our experienced Westchester County Car Accident Attorneys you can help you understand your legal options and represent your interests in court. 

What is fatigued driving?

When a motorist operates a vehicle while they are cognitively impaired by their lack of sleep, they are considered to be fatigued driving. Fatigue can impair a motorist’s cognition as much as alcohol can. According to statistics, if a motorist drives for more than 20 consecutive hours without rest, it is the same as driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% (the legal limit). Fatigued driving causes motorists to have slower reaction times. In addition, fatigue causes motorists to have decreased awareness, alertness, and concentration on the road. Motorists are not able to make sound decisions while behind the wheel when they do not have adequate sleep which can lead to losing control of their vehicle. Driver fatigue is more than just feeling tired. It causes severe drowsiness. The effects of drowsiness diminish a motorist’s driving abilities needed to keep everyone safe on the road. Motorists must maintain healthy sleeping habits and get enough rest before getting behind the wheel.

Furthermore, commercial truck drivers are the most susceptible to fatigued driving as their job requires them to drive for several consecutive hours without rest. Nevertheless, anyone who does not get enough sleep is at risk of driver fatigue.

What are the symptoms of driver fatigue?

The following are symptoms that indicate a motorist may be experiencing fatigue:

  • Frequent yawning
  • Difficulty keeping their eyes open
  • Difficulty keeping their head up
  • Difficulty maintaining their speed
  • Difficulty staying in their lane
  • Difficulty abiding by road signs
  • Missing turns
  • Forgetting the last few miles they have driven
  • Drifting from their lane
  • Experiencing short sleep episodes or “nodding off”

It is not always easy to identify some symptoms of fatigue, however, these are the most common signs that a motorist’s cognition is impaired by their lack of quality sleep.

In the unfortunate event that you are injured in a car accident as a result of another motorist driving while fatigued, it is imperative to get in touch with one of our skilled and qualified attorneys. It can be quite difficult to prove that fatigued driving was the cause of an accident. However, with the help of our seasoned attorneys, we can help you hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence and get the justice you deserve.