People often view tiredness as a badge of honor. They are proud they pulled off an all-nighter studying for exams, pushed themselves to exhaustion in an endurance race or brought extra wages home from a double shift.
Yet they might not consider how it affects their driving. The reality is that tiredness and driving do not mix, and it applies equally to self-induced exhaustion as to being unable to sleep due to noisy neighbors or a teething baby.
Driving safely requires you to be alert
Driving takes a lot of concentration and quick and accurate decision-making. The chances of doing those things drop when exhausted. Hence tiredness reduces your ability to complete your journey safely.
Your body reacts when you need to sleep. Your eyelids feel heavy, and try to close. If they shut while driving, even for a millisecond, it could be enough to miss something on the road and crash.
It is a bit like being drunk
There is a difference between drinking too much and deciding to drive home and needing to drive home to sleep after a long work shift or needing to drive to work after a sleepless night. Drunk driving is implicitly more irresponsible. However, the effects of drunkenness and drowsiness on your body and your ability to drive are remarkably similar. Experts suggest not sleeping for 18 hours is equivalent to 0.05% blood alcohol content (BAC), and not sleeping for 24 hours to 0.10% BAC.
Driving while tired is always a choice
If a driver injures you because they are tired, they might try to convince you they had no choice but to drive, but they did. They could have called a cab or pulled over and slept before continuing. Consider legal help to hold them responsible.