Drunk driving is illegal, of course, but many people do something very similar on a regular basis: They drive while they’re fatigued. A lot of the issues they face are very similar to those faced by drunk drivers. For instance, both may notice that they do not react as well to hazards ahead of them, or they may both drift over the center line and cause a head-on crash. From the outside, it’s very easy to confuse a drowsy driver with a drunk driver.
If you’ve never driven while you’re overly fatigued before, here are a few things to watch out for:
- You suddenly look around and realize that you have driven for a decent stretch of the road — maybe even miles — and you have no memory of it.
- You try to concentrate on driving and on the road, but you find it almost impossible to focus.
- Your head keeps slipping lower and lower or bobbing up and down as you nearly doze off.
- Your eyelids feel very heavy and, though your eyes are still open, they start to close and restrict your vision.
- You start to make small mistakes like not hitting the brakes soon enough at a red light or drifting into the other lane.
- You can’t stop yawning, and it doesn’t even help to drink a cup of coffee, roll down the window or turn up the radio.
Now, if you watch for these signs of being out of control of your own ability to drive, you can avoid dangerous drowsy driving. Many other drivers around you will not, though, as this is all too common. If one of them hits you, make sure you’re aware of the legal options you have to seek compensation.