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Fatigued driving can sometimes mimic drunk driving

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2024 | Personal Injury

Anyone who’s driving must ensure that they’re able to make their journey safely. One factor they must consider is how fatigued they are. Some may not realize that driving while they’re too tired can mimic the effects of drunk driving.

By the time a person has been without sleep for 20 hours, they experience the same effects as someone who has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08%. That’s the BAC that’s considered legally drunk.

Fatigue can come from more than lack of sleep

While lack of sleep is one of the more common reasons for fatigued driving, it’s not the only reason. Another common reason is driving at a time when the body expects to be asleep. This often affects people who drive late at night.

The body’s natural sleep-wake cycle is known as the circadian rhythm. People who are up at night, such as those who work third shift, are likely to suffer from fatigue because of this rhythm. 

Medications and medical conditions are also likely to contribute to fatigue. Obesity and diabetes are two medical conditions that can cause a driver to be fatigued. Medications, including prescriptions and over-the-counter options, can do the same. These typically have warnings about causing drowsiness. 

Fatigued driving can often be difficult to prove when there’s a wreck. For victims of these crashes, determining the best way to show that the fatigued driver caused the crash is critical. Working with someone who’s familiar with these cases can often make it a bit easier for them to get their case set up before the legal time limit to file it passes by.