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Fatigued driving is a preventable cause of catastrophic crashes

Drivers must ensure they’re mentally and physically prepared to drive before they start their vehicle’s engine. They must be prepared to follow traffic signs, signals and laws, and they must be ready to react effectively to road conditions as they change.

In today’s busy society, people are so busy, they often don’t get adequate sleep. This can lead to drivers getting behind the wheel when they’re too fatigued to drive safely.

Fatigue has several causes

Lack of adequate sleep is one of the common causes of fatigue, but it’s not the only one. Some people get enough sleep, but they get fatigued because they’re driving at a time when they should be sleeping. The human body’s circadian rhythm dictates when it needs rest, and the cycle usually includes overnight sleep and sometimes an afternoon nap. Anyone who drives during those periods may notice they’re fighting to stay awake as they drive.

Medications and drugs are also associated with fatigue. Many over-the-counter and prescription medications can cause fatigue. Allergy medications and pain relievers are some of the more common ones that have this effect on people. Medications that are likely to cause fatigue will typically have a warning on the label about being fatigued or operating heavy machinery.

Some medical conditions can also lead to fatigue. Diabetes, narcolepsy, obesity and sleep apnea are a few that can cause someone to become tired quickly.

Microsleeps are dangerous

A fatigued driver may doze off for a few seconds. During that time, their vehicle isn’t being controlled. A driver who falls asleep for five seconds while they’re vehicle is moving at 55 miles per hour will travel the length of a regulation football field. Catastrophic crashes can occur in that distance.

Victims of fatigued driving crashes may opt to seek compensation for the financial damages of their harm from those who caused it. Compensation may include reimbursement for loss of income if they had to miss work, medical bills for injury treatments and other related expenses. State law only allows a short time to get these cases filed, so it may behoove victims to work with a legal representative to get their case together and filed promptly.