All drivers must ensure that they are well rested before they drive. There are many things that come into consideration when they are trying to prepare for any drive on the road. One of the most important things to remember is that no driver should ever try to push through fatigue. It is always best to stop, get some rest, and begin again when they are better rested.
In Missouri, there were 20 fatal crashes in 2018 that included fatigue as a factor. There were another 947 crashes involving a fatigued driver that led to injuries.
Some people think that only lack of sleep can cause fatigue. This isn't the case. There are many factors that can contribute to a driver suffering from fatigue. Knowing what these are and taking steps to avoid them or address them can help all drivers.
Lack of quality sleep
Even if you go to bed for a while doesn't mean that you are getting quality sleep. Some conditions, such as sleep apnea, can interrupt your sleep. Even some health conditions like diabetes might make you feel more drowsy than usual. People who work at night can also have sleep troubles because the human body isn't accustomed to sleeping during the day. This works against the natural circadian rhythm, which can induce fatigue.
Emotional stress can drain your energy. This is an issue that can also cause you to become distracted because your mind might be on the problems and not on driving. It is usually best for people who are having tough emotional problems to address them before getting behind the wheel. In the event of a traumatic event, such as a death, it might be best to have someone else drive.
Conditions on the road
Some conditions on the road can lead to fatigue. If the vehicle is hot and stuffy or you are driving on familiar roads, you might become fatigued more easily. Drivers who are on the road at night might have highway hypnosis, which can cause them to nod off at the wheel.
Commercial drivers might suffer from fatigue if they have non-driving related duties to handle before they drive. For example, truckers who have to load cargo may be tired when they head out on their haul.
One thing that is clear is that a fatigued driver is a potentially deadly driver. Fatigued driving crashes will likely trigger a need for medical care. It might lead to a claim for compensation to attempt to recover damages.