The fast pace of life often leads to drowsy and fatigued driving. Many lives have been lost in Vancouver due to individuals falling asleep while driving. Sometimes, the victims are on day trips south of the border. Sadly, such drivers risk their own lives, along with the lives of others in their vehicle or nearby.
Many drivers do not realize that fatigue has the same effect on driving ability as alcohol impairment. Feelings of fatigue could escalate in a warm car and with the vehicle rhythm, which could be soothing. The following people are at increased risk:
- Workers on night shift or rotating shifts
- Drivers with sleep disorders
- Long-haul drivers in commercial workers
- Drivers on prescription or over-the-counter medicines that cause drowsiness
- Alcohol or drug-impaired drivers
Reportedly, males under 26 years are more likely than any other group to drive while fatigued.
Causes and impact of fatigued driving
Both mental and physical fatigue cause drowsiness and compromised driving abilities. The primary causes are insufficient sleep and sleep disorder. Safety authorities say the number of fatigue-related accidents is as high as speeding, distracted driving and impaired driving.
Physical fatigue involves exhausted muscles due to strenuous activities. It causes slowed reaction and response times. A delayed response lasting only a split second could have catastrophic consequences. Mental fatigue could exacerbate the risks because it adversely affects the performance of crucial driving tasks.
Risks of fatigued driving
Mentally and/or physically fatigued drivers risk the following:
- Impaired ability to judge speed, time and distance
- Increased risk-taking
- Inability to absorb and respond to critical information
- High chances of ignoring or forgetting regular procedures and checks
- Poor manual dexterity and problem solving
- Lack of good judgment in making decisions and taking action in emergencies
Injured victims of car accidents caused by fatigued drivers might have viable claims to file in a Vancouver civil court. However, seeking damage recovery could be complicated, especially if it involves cross-border personal injury. Proving that the person who caused the crash was driving while fatigued might also pose significant challenges. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can be an asset in such cases.