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How does drowsiness and fatigue affect driving capabilities?

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

It is no secret that motor vehicle accidents can happen under a multitude of scenarios, and each incident could run the risk of carrying life-altering repercussions. There is a chance you could encounter various safety hazards while navigating the open road, such as distraction, impairment, and reckless driving. 

Studies indicate that there is another type of driving hazard that plays a role in far too many accidents. Those who succumb to the effects of drowsiness and fatigue while behind the wheel may struggle to safety operate a motor vehicle. Even a momentary bout with similar issues could prove exceedingly dangerous. 

Possible effects of driver fatigue 

Studies often compare the effects of driver fatigue with those involved with driver impairment. Understanding the toll fatigue can take on your driving capabilities could play an integral role in helping you prepare to avoid similar safety concerns. Examples of the possible effects of fatigue may include: 

  • Lack of control: Drivers who succumb to fatigue may struggle to maintain proper lane control. Constantly drifting in and out of the lanes of traffic can be extremely hazardous. 
  • Loss of concentration: Drowsy drivers may also find it difficult to focus on the task at hand. The combination of fatigue and distraction could prove a recipe for disaster. 
  • Slow reaction times: Similar issues also affect driver response times. Anything that disrupts reaction times can take a dire toll on your ability to safely operate a vehicle. 
  • Coordination and judgment: Studies indicate that drowsiness and fatigue can also impact your hand-eye coordination and your ability to make vital judgment calls. 
  • Impact on mood: Studies also suggest that those who struggle with fatigue may also be more susceptible to growing irritable or exhibiting aggressive behavior while behind the wheel. 

While there may be steps you can take to stave off fatigue prior to heading out on California roads, if you encounter someone who does not take the same approach to safety, the results could prove disastrous. 

Life-changing repercussions 

If another driver’s negligent behavior causes a serious collision to occur, you could suffer severe or even life-changing harm in the process. Injuries stemming from such an incident may lead to lengthy recovery periods or even leave you facing a need for long-term or permanent medical care. Similar ramifications might affect your quality of life by disrupting your ability to perform everyday tasks. The monetary impact of your situation could also leave you facing a seemingly insurmountable financial hurdle.