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The dangers of driving while fatigued

As a New Yorker, you may already be aware of the many dangers drivers face while they are on the roads in the state. Whether you take extra precautions to avoid them or not, one danger you may not realize causes a spike in car accidents and fatalities is fatigue. 

Fatigue has a big impact on the way you think, act and feel. It can cause you to feel chronically worn-out, stressed, frustrated and less alert. It can also cause you to miss crucial cues that may put you in the way of reckless, intoxicated and other fatigued drivers. To avoid accidents, take some time to review the following information about driving while fatigued. 

An unreported issue that is becoming more common 

Currently, there are not many statistics available on the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities tired motorists cause; many of these incidents are unreported. Common factors that lead to driver fatigue include working long hours, shift work, health conditions and long commutes. 

Fatigue compromises cognitive functions 

Drivers must be able to think clearly when they are in the driver’s seat. When they cannot, they compromise the road for everyone. Fatigue causes their bodies to be in a persistent state of stress. To compensate, many individuals use their cellphones, infotainment systems and other means for distractions to keep them awake and semi-alert. 

Many studies liken driving while fatigued to drunk driving. The less sleep a driver gets, the more likely he or she is to exhibit the same driving actions as a drunken motorist. Such drivers are not capable of responding as fast as necessary. They may not see hazardous conditions in time to think of the correct driving actions to use to avoid them. Fatigued drivers make the roads much more dangerous than normal. 

It may not always be possible for you to avoid driving while fatigued. But there are things you can do to lessen the chances of accidents and harm, such as taking breaks, not traveling before getting enough rest, asking someone else to drive and using public transportation or a ride-sharing service.

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