The chance of a driver falling asleep at the wheel is a huge hazard, especially when the driver is fatigued. This is a problematic occurrence for all drivers, but especially for truckers who might have long hauls. Anyone who is going to get behind the wheel of a vehicle should ensure that they are well rested and ready to remain safe while they drive.
Some people falsely believe that they can trick themselves into staying awake. It might buy you enough time to find a place to stop for a while, but you can't rely on things like opening the windows, drinking caffeine or listening to music. There are specific reasons why fatigued driving is incredibly dangerous.
Major driving risks of fatigue
The average person needs to have seven to nine hours of sleep per night in order to be able to drive safely. When you get less than five hours of sleep for two nights, you will begin to have similar driving impairments as a person who has been consuming alcohol. A person who has been awake for more than 24 hours has impairments that are equivalent to a person who has a blood alcohol concentration of .10 percent. Any impairment while driving can lead to serious injuries or even death of innocent people.
Factors that can contribute to fatigued driving
There are many things that can contribute to fatigued driving. These go far beyond lack of sleep. It also includes having medical conditions like sleep apnea or chronic pain since these can break up sleep with periods of being awake. Using illegal drugs, sleeping pills or medications that cause drowsiness can all lead to fatigued drivers.
Preventing fatigued drivers
Drivers who are showing signs of fatigue, such as nodding off or blinking rapidly, should pull over and get some sleep. This is the only foolproof way to prevent a crash. Even if you are well rested, there is a chance that other drivers won't be. Even a single fatigued driver on the roadway can lead to significant crashes.
People who are injured in a crash with a fatigued driver might opt to seek compensation in New Jersey for the financial damages. This is done via the civil courts and can take considerable time. Some cases are resolved through settlements and others will require a trial. The course that your case takes when you are in this type of crash depends on the circumstances.