Which is more dangerous on the road: Fatigue or distraction?

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2017 | blog, Firm News

The dangers of distracted driving are well-known. There is significant evidence to indicate that distraction of all kinds can cause serious accidents, leaving innocent people dead or seriously injured. While this is a serious issue that will continue to be a problem, it is not the only threat to South Dakota drivers.

While it does not receive as much attention as distracted driving, fatigue can be just as dangerous and just as costly. Drowsy driving is extremely common, and like distraction, it can be difficult to prove. If you believe that a negligent driver caused your car accident, it is possible that fatigue played a role in the liable party’s negligent or dangerous actions.

The dangers of fatigue

No one intends to fall asleep while they are driving. However, every driver bears the responsibility of knowing when he or she is not in a state to drive safely. Fatigue can affect cognitive functioning, reasoning skills and physical reactions. Consequently, drowsiness can do the following:

  • Make a driver less able to pay attention to the road
  • Slow reaction time in case a driver has to brake or steer suddenly
  • Impact a person’s ability to make good decisions while behind the wheel

Being tired seems harmless and quite normal, and while plenty of people drive safely while sleepy, extreme exhaustion can be quite dangerous and ultimately result in catastrophic consequences.

Anyone can be a fatigued driver

Anyone can be a dangerously fatigued driver. A stressful time or a couple of nights with little sleep can cause a decrease in the ability to drive safely. However, there may be people especially prone to fatigue, such as:

  • People who work shifts
  • Commercial drivers
  • Individuals with undiagnosed sleep disorders
  • People who do not get enough sleep
  • Drivers who use medication that could make them sleepy

Fatigued driving is dangerous, and individuals who knowingly get behind the wheel while in a state of decreased mental and physical functioning may be held accountable for any harm caused by their actions.

Rebuilding your life after an accident

Moving on after an accident can be difficult, especially if you suffered because of the actions of another person. If you believe that fatigue or another type of negligence played a role in your pain and suffering, you would be wise to reach out to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. You may have a valid claim to financial compensation and grounds to move forward with a personal injury claim.


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