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Why is fatigue and driving a dangerous combination?

Any time you get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, it's imperative that you are ready for anything that could come your way. While you hope to avoid trouble, you never know if a dangerous situation could arise.

This is why it's so important to be completely alert as a driver. Any level of fatigue will increase the likelihood of an accident.

Here are some of the many ways fatigue can impact your body when operating a motor vehicle:

  • Impaired vision, judgment and reaction time
  • Inability to process information in a timely manner
  • Short term memory concerns
  • Decreased motivation and performance
  • Aggressive behavior toward other drivers

Along with the above, there's one last thing to worry about: falling asleep at the wheel. The longer you're on the road when fatigued, the greater chance there is that you will eventually doze off. If this happens, there is a very good possibility that you will strike another object, such as a vehicle.

Here's the good thing: You can always do your part in avoiding a fatigue-related motor vehicle accident. All you have to do is get enough rest before taking to the road.

Conversely, you have no control over other drivers. You never know when another person is driving drowsy, thus increasing the chance of a crash.

If you are part of an accident with a drowsy driver, you should move to safety and call 911. Only after you receive treatment will you have the time to learn more about the accident and your legal rights for seeking compensation. Remember, your health comes first.

Source: National Sleep Foundation, "Facts," accessed Nov. 14, 2017

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