Drivers must ensure they get enough sleep to drive safely. Drivers who have gone 20 hours without sleep have similar effects as someone who is legally impaired. Even before they hit that point, fatigued drivers put others at risk.
While you may think that only lack of sleep can lead to driver fatigue, that’s not the case. Other issues can also contribute to this issue. Understanding these may help drivers to ensure they avoid them.
1. The time of day or night matters
People who are driving at night might be more fatigued than others. This is because the human body’s natural inclination is to sleep during that time because of the circadian rhythm. Long drives and working swing shifts can also cause fatigue, especially if you’re having to drive when you’d normally be sleeping.
2. Medical conditions can cause fatigue
Medical conditions, such as sleep apnea, can lead to fatigue while driving. Certain medications, including over-the-counter and prescriptions used to treat medical conditions, can also induce fatigue. These usually have warnings about operating heavy machinery after use or that they may cause drowsiness or dizziness.
3. No quick cures are possible
There aren’t any quick ways to cure fatigue. While drinking caffeine might help for a short time, this isn’t a long-term cure. The only way to stop fatigue is to pull over and get sleep.
Victims of fatigued driving crashes must ensure they get medical care. They may seek compensation to help offset the costs of that care. Other damages are also possible, but Massachusetts law has strict time limits for these cases.