If you’re like many adults, you spend a lot of time feeling tired and like you haven’t quite gotten enough sleep. This kind of persistent fatigue isn’t just an annoyance. It can also make it dangerous for you to drive. Fatigued driving is dangerous to the person behind the wheel and everyone else on the road, and it is to blame for an increasing number of accidents. Fatigued driving doesn’t get the same level of scrutiny that drunk driving and distracted driving get, but it can be equally as dangerous and may be even more prevalent. Just how risky is fatigued driving? These facts may surprise you.
Fatigued driving is to blame for a large number of accidents.
Although comprehensive statistics are difficult to come by, because fatigued drivers do not always report their exhaustion after an accident, experts believe that the number of fatigue-related accidents is high. A study by Virginia Tech University, in which drivers had cameras and other tracking equipment installed in their cars, found that 20% of accidents could be attributed to fatigued driving. Experts believe that fatigued driving is responsible for a significant percentage of crashes nationally, including a large percentage of fatal crashes. Additionally, they believe that every hour of sleep lost further increases the risk of an accident.
Drivers don’t always fall asleep when fatigued.
Falling asleep behind the wheel is an outcome of driving while fatigued, but it isn’t the only issue that fatigued drivers experience. Slowed reaction time, loss of muscle control, and even micro-sleeps, in which the eyes briefly close and reopen quickly, can all contribute to fatigued driving risks. Any time you drive while fatigued, your ability to react to conditions and stay attentive is dangerously compromised.
Don’t fatigue affect the safety of your job site or put your employees at risk. Guardvant’s driver fatigue detection systems let you and your team know when fatigue is impacting performance, so you can take action. For more information about managing driver fatigue, call (520) 299-1911.