Causes Of Fatigue While Driving
Fatigue while driving is one of the most common reasons for accidents on roads. Most of such accidents take place during normal hours of sleeping, and the crashes are more severe if the driver was fatigued. Fatigue is one of the most likely factors for causing single vehicle accidents both in urban and rural areas. You must think that fatigue is a problem experienced by long-distance drivers only. But that’s not true. Drivers do not get tired due to long hours of driving, but in most cases, they are already tired due to work or lack of rest even before they sit behind the wheel. We have already told you about Common Causes of Fatigue. Read this OneHowTo.com article to know about the causes of fatigue while driving.
Major causes of driver fatigue
Most common causes of driver fatigue are:
- Lack of sleep
- Having a bad night's sleep
- Driving at times when the driver would normally be asleep
As a result, the driver does not get enough sleep as per his or her requirements, and this leads to a build-up of sleep debt. You owe this sleep and you can only repay this sleep debt by giving yourself some sleep. If you do not sleep at the moment, you run a greater risk of getting involved in a fatigue related road accident.
People at increased risk of having driver fatigue
Although everyone is at risk of having fatigue while driving, there are certain people who have increased risks than others. Such individuals include the following:
- Young drivers who are inexperienced at driving and still have to drive at night. Night driving and inexperience can be a deadly factor that can lead to driver fatigue and accidents.
- People who work for shifts or for extended hours have many times more chances of having a fatigue related accident.
- Commercial drivers who have to drive for long distances, especially at night are at increased risk of having driver fatigue.
- Business travelers who usually suffer from jet lag and who frequently need to cross time zones often get poor quality sleep and thus suffer from driver fatigue.
Factors to consider
There are several factors that make a difference in whether a driver would get fatigued while driving or not. Such factors include:
- For how many hours has the driver been awake.
- The brain has a biological clock that affects the person’s drowsy and alert levels. The driver should not drive during his normal sleeping hours.
- If you are going to drive the next day, you should get a good quality sleep the night before. Sleeping is not enough, it should be good enough to give you the needed rest.
- The type of road you are driving on. If you are driving on a long boring stretch of road, you will find it difficult to maintain your vigilance and alertness.
- Sleep disorder, such as narcolepsy or obstructive sleep apnea.
- Use of sedative drugs, narcotics, alcohol, antidepressants or any medicines that cause drowsiness.
Consequences of fatigue while driving
Fatigue while driving may be disastrous at times. Fatigue can impair your decision making ability and disturb your mental processing. A driver can easily go into a micro-sleep without even realizing. This sleep can only be for a few milliseconds, but it can be life-changing if you need to do some critical task while driving at the same time. Your vehicle may exit your driving lane and collide with another vehicle or object like tree.
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