People drive when they’re tired all the time. You have high school students waking up early to head to class. You have college students staying out late to socialize with friends. You have office workers putting in long, 10-hour days and then leaving after dinner to drive through an hour-long commute. You have people on road trips who know they should stop but who still have two hours until their destination.
In other words, anyone can be too tired to drive and still decide to keep going. What’s important is that you understand that fatigued driving is incredibly dangerous. If you’re tired, you should never get behind the wheel of your car.
Just consider the Sleep Foundation, which notes that a tired driver is really not that much different than a drunk driver. Someone who stays up all night long — a doctor with a long shift at the hospital, for instance — may drive the same way that a person would with a BAC that is over the legal limit. Even just saying awake for 18 hours, which is very common, can be detrimental to your ability to drive.
If you wouldn’t go out for drinks and then get behind the wheel when you’re intoxicated, you shouldn’t do it when you’re tired. Unfortunately, this is a risk that people often overlook. They don’t think of it as being nearly as dangerous as it actually is. They may try all sorts of tricks to stay awake, like turning up the radio and just try to keep going.
Those who get hit by these exhausted drivers who make mistakes or nod off behind the wheel need to know about their legal options, such as seeking compensation for their lost wages, injuries and other expenses after a wreck. If you were hurt, it may be time to speak to an experienced advocate.