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An overview of driver fatigue in Pennsylvania

Driver fatigue is a serious problem affecting commercial drivers in the state of Pennsylvania. It can lead to accidents that can cause serious injury or even death. Hundreds of drivers can be affected by one fatigued driver. Here is a brief overview of driver fatigue and how it can be avoided.

Most people know and understand the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Not many know or understand how dangerous it is to drive while sleepy or fatigued. Driver fatigue is a very dangerous condition that should never be risked. Just like alcohol, sleepiness can cause a delay in reaction time, impair your judgment and decrease your awareness. Driver fatigue also increases the likelihood that you will be involved in an accident.

There is no test a police officer can administer during a traffic stop to determine if you are too drowsy to drive. There is no breath or blood test or objective test out there that can determine your level of drowsiness. Therefore, determining drowsiness as a factor in a crash can be very difficult for officers and other investigators on the scene.

The most common clues of a drowsy driving accident include a crash scene with just one vehicle, the lack of skid marks and a lack of evidence for other evasive maneuvers.

Drowsy driving can cause a driver to experience any of the following symptoms:

- Lack of brain power

- Inability to make a quick decision

- Decreased motivation, vigilance or performance

- Aggressive behaviors

- Increased moodiness

- Impaired judgment, vision and reaction time

- Problems processing information and with short-term memory

Many drowsy or fatigued drivers might experience a forgetful feeling when behind the wheel. For example, the driver might not remember how they wound up in a certain location or might not remember passing a certain landmark on their trip.

Looking for more information on driver fatigue? An experienced motor vehicle accidents attorney can answer all of your questions on the subject.

Source: National Sleep Foundation, "Drowsy Driving," accessed June 02, 2017

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