Falling asleep at the wheel is a serious concern on our roads. Research has found that about 20% of fatal collisions in Canada involve driver fatigue. In Alberta in 2016, over 200 drivers involved in a serious injury or fatal collision were reported as fatigued or asleep.
HOW DOES FATIGUE AFFECT DRIVERS?
Symptoms of fatigue can include:
- Reduced ability to make decisions.
- Reduced reaction time.
- Lack of attention and concentration.
- Increased errors in judgement.
- Increased irritability.
- Difficulty keeping eyes focused and/or open.
Fatigued driving is impaired driving. Research has found that being awake for 17-19 hours is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.05!
So, experiencing the symptoms of fatigued driving can result in a driver being unable to react to something on the road, take greater risks while driving, react more emotionally or aggressively to situations, blink or close their eyes for longer periods of time, or even fall asleep at the wheel.
All of these result in a higher risk of being in a collision.
Check out these FAQs from the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF).
Read this article by the Alberta Motor Association.