Motorists in Louisiana who are feeling fatigued while driving may try several strategies to stay alert. They may drink a large cup of coffee. They may open their windows for some fresh air. Or they may turn the volume up on their radio so that it is very loud. However, these strategies ultimately will not help a fatigued person stay alert. This is significant, as a tired driver is a dangerous driver.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that drowsy driving is a serious issue in our nation. Even if a person doesn’t actually fall asleep while behind the wheel, fatigued driving could impact a motorist’s ability to pay attention to driving conditions. It could also reduce the motorist’s reaction time and ability to make appropriate decisions while driving. Any of these issues could be factors in a drowsy driving accident.
According to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 72,000 car accidents in 2013 were due to fatigued driving. In these accidents, 44,000 people were injured and 800 died. However, some experts believe these numbers are actually higher, and that annually as many as 6,000 fatal auto accidents were caused by drowsy drivers.
When a person is too tired to drive, they should not get behind the wheel of a car. They should find a safe place to take a short nap or change drivers. Motorists should also avoid driving after consuming alcohol or taking medications that cause drowsiness. Getting enough sleep in the first place can also prevent drowsy driving.
Unfortunately, not every driver will heed these tactics. They will still drive, even if they are tired. This could lead to collisions between them and other motorists. In the end, a drowsy driver is a negligent driver. Motorists injured due to a car crash caused by a fatigued driver may want to determine whether they can pursue compensation for the damages they suffered in the crash.