For decades, some drivers everywhere, including in Alberta, have struggled with fatigue, while sitting behind a car’s steering wheel. Unfortunately, the hectic pace at which our society now moves has increased the numbers of such drivers.
What is expected of every driver?
All drivers should exercise reasonable care, when operating a vehicle. That means not taking risks; that means not being careless or neglectful. A motorist that has chosen to be careless or neglectful has become an example of negligence.
What are the most typical causes of fatigued driving?
A motorist that suffers from a lack of sleep, but refuses to take a rest stop
A monotonous road: The motorist feels forced to drive, but has no inclination to keep at that particular and boring task.
What additional factors might cause a motorist to become tired, and unable to remain alert?
• The time of day: The numbers of accidents caused by an exhausted driver go up at night.
• A driver’s consumption of alcohol, before getting behind the wheel, increases the chances for fatigue, and for the resulting accident.
• Certain medications make a motorist sleepy.
• If the time that any one person must devote to driving gets extended, that can lead to development of fatigue. That is why trucking companies are supposed to limit the number of hours that their drivers spend on the road each day.
Workers that fill one of the odd hours in a factory tend to get sleepy, after leaving work, or while going to work. Those that have a night shift might be especially tired, after working all night. Those with an afternoon shift might experience fatigue while driving to work.
How the problems caused by fatigued drivers are being addressed
Alberta has chosen to class the behavior exhibited by an exhausted motorist as an example of egregious conduct. That re-classification of the on-road maneuvers that are associated with an exhausted driver provides the courts with the ability to exercise a disciplinary action.
If a tired driver’s maneuvers have caused an accident, and the innocent driver has sued, then the court can hit the defendant with punitive damages. That should serve as a reminder of society’s expectations. As stated above, drivers are expected to exercise reasonable care, when on the road, as per personal injury lawyer in Grand Prairie.
Still, the courts do not want to be full of cases brought by those motorists that have been hit by a vehicle that had an overly tired or bored person at the steering wheel. That is why law enforcement agencies need to offer an excuse for a rest stop on certain nights, such as New Year’s Eve. Typically, that excuse takes the form of hot coffee. A bleary-eye person welcomes the chance to sip some.