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How Fatigue Can Affect Your Driving Ability

woman holding a steering wheel and turned to the side yawning

The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

An estimated 100,000 traffic crashes are caused by drowsy drivers each year; still, thousands of people get behind the wheel each day when fatigued. Often this is largely due to drivers not understanding the physical and mental effects that fatigue can have on driving ability. Read on to learn about how you may be impacted.

Physical and Mental Impacts

Drowsiness can have more physical and mental effects than you realize that extend far beyond feeling run-down. Studies have shown that it may even affect the body similarly to alcohol impairment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that being awake for 18 hours is similar to having a BAC of 0.05%. In most states (Utah being the exception), the legal limit for driving is 0.08%.

Mentally, drowsiness can impact you by:

  • Slowing reaction times
  • Decreasing attentiveness
  • Affecting decision-making and memory

Add this on top of the heavier eyes, yawning, and the possibility of falling asleep at the wheel, and you put yourself at a high risk of drifting off the road or causing a collision.

How Much Sleep Should I Be Getting?

According to the CDC, most adults need a minimum of seven hours of sleep and teenagers need eight to ten, so ensuring that you are getting adequate rest before getting behind the wheel is essential. Along with this, even small amounts of alcohol or over-the-counter medications can exacerbate drowsiness, so be cautious and have a backup plan just in case.

Boulder Car Accident Attorneys

Our Colorado attorneys are dedicated to ensuring safety on and off the roads by holding negligent drivers accountable for injuries they cause. When drowsiness begins to affect your driving ability and can therefore impact other drivers, preventable accidents may occur and cause severe harm.

Klein Frank, P.C. offers free initial consultations for prospective clients. Call (303) 448-8884 to schedule with our team.

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