Fatigue Behind the Wheel is a Serious Problem

Americans are busier, more active, and more committed to our families, jobs, and hobbies than in decades past. We’ve simply become a culture that thrives on being constantly busy. In this fast-paced world in which we live, sleep becomes a luxury many people can’t afford.

However, this becomes a dangerous trend when people start pushing themselves to such extremes that they face fatigue behind the wheel of a car. This is a problem because driving while fatigued can be just as serious as drunk driving, impairing motor skills, cognitive ability, reasoning skills, and vision.

fatigue behind the wheel
Fatigue behind the wheel can be just as dangerous as texting while driving.

According to autos.aol.com, AAA says that fatigued driving may be the cause for up to 11.6 percent of all fatal accidents. According to a survey from DMEautomotive, Americans are fighting fatigue in all the wrong ways. Drinking caffeine, opening windows, blaring loud music, pulling over to exercise and stretch, and turning up the air conditioning are the most common methods of combating the effects of sleep deprivation, but are ineffective.

The only real solution is to pull over and take a nap. The common methods listed above only remedy the problem for a short time. “This survey reveals a big problem: when people get sleepy on the road, too many take measures that simply don’t work,” said Mary Sheridan, director of research and analytics for DMEautomotive, in a release. “Most of us do ineffective things like stopping for that third triple-shot cappuccino or slapping water on our face just to keep going. As drivers, we need to heed our drowsiness: and stop and sleep, or let a rested person drive.”

So while we might be accomplishing more and feeling more fulfilled and successful, we might be putting ourselves and other at serious risk. If you experience any signs of drowsiness while on the road, make the responsible choice to get off the road.

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