Attorneys Robert, David and James Cody

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The dangers of long-distance driving

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2024 | Car Crashes |

Many people need to drive for long periods of time, whether for work, travel or other reasons. However, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers associated with extended periods behind the wheel. For example, driver fatigue can occur.

Before a long journey, drivers must realize how driving for lengthy distances can lead to accidents.

Fatigue and its impact on driving

Fatigue is a state of extreme tiredness or exhaustion that can significantly impair a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. When driving for long periods, fatigue can gradually set in, leading to decreased alertness, slower reaction times and impaired decision-making skills. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that drowsy driving led to 684 traffic accident deaths over the course of 2021.

Driving for extended periods can cause a decline in concentration and focus. As fatigue sets in, drivers may find it challenging to maintain their attention on the road, increasing the risk of missing important traffic signs, signals or other vehicles. This lack of focus can result in delayed reactions and poor judgment, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

Microsleep and inattention

Fatigue can also lead to microsleep episodes, which are brief moments of sleep that occur without the driver’s awareness. These episodes can last for just a few seconds but are long enough to cause a serious accident if they happen while driving. Microsleep can result in the driver veering off the road or colliding with other vehicles due to temporary loss of control.

Driving for long periods of time can be physically and mentally demanding, increasing the risk of accidents due to driver fatigue. The combination of decreased alertness, lack of focus, slower reaction times and impaired decision-making can have severe consequences on the road. To mitigate these risks, it is important to prioritize rest breaks, share driving responsibilities and be aware of the signs of fatigue. Safety should always be the top priority when embarking on long-distance journeys.