Most people are aware of the dangers of drinking and operating a vehicle. The risks associated with drowsy driving are less understood, but if you have ever gotten behind the wheel while fatigued, you were putting both yourself and those on the road around you in harm’s way. The accidents and personal injury attorneys at Osborne, Tripp & Schmidt in Sparta, WI, stress that the consequences of this behavior are often tragic. Below, they discuss the effects of exhaustion on drivers and how to avoid it.

How Fatigue Affects Driving Behavior

Fatigue affects the body in much the same way that alcohol does, which essentially makes the act as dangerous as drunk driving. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, operating a motor vehicle after you have been awake for 18 consecutive hours is similar to driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05%. For reference, police consider anyone driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher impaired. Fatigue results in slower reaction times, poor concentration, reduced coordination, and fewer inhibitions.

How You Can Avoid Drowsy Driving

accidents and personal injuryThe best way to avoid drowsy driving is to get plenty of sleep every night. If you are planning a long trip, there are steps you can take on the road to keep fatigue at bay. For example, if you’re traveling with a friend, switch drivers every few hours so you can each nap. If you’re alone, pull over at a rest stop at the first sign of exhaustion and break for the night if possible. Otherwise, consume a caffeinated beverage, take a 20-minute power nap, and then get back on the road again just as the caffeine hits your system.

Unfortunately, you can take all the precautions to avoid fatigue and still end up in a serious collision because of a drunk, distracted, or reckless driver. If you were hurt in a crash that someone else caused, an accidents and personal injury lawyer from Osborne, Tripp & Schmidt will help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Check out their website to explore the firm’s range of practice areas, including child custody and bankruptcy law. You can schedule a consultation with a seasoned accidents and personal injury attorney by calling (608) 269-2400 today.