Fatigue does more than just affect someone’s mood. The more tired someone feels and the longer they have gone without adequate sleep, the harder it may be for them to safely operate a motor vehicle. Fatigue while driving can affect someone’s ability to focus, their decision-making ability and even their ability to remain awake while driving.
Busy people can end up feeling fatigued at any time of day depending on their health and daily schedule. However, there are certain times when fatigue is more of a safety concern for drivers than at other points in the day.
Light levels and biometric rhythms affect fatigue
Many people will experience fatigue when environmental factors tell their brains it is time to sleep. Once the sun begins setting and the sky turns dark, people start to feel more tired naturally. Nighttime driving is often when someone is at the highest degree of risk of encountering a fatigued driver.
However, there are other times in the day when fatigue can easily impact someone’s safety. People who did not get to bed on time and who wake up still groggy may be fatigued at the wheel on their way into work in the morning. It is also very common for people to have a late afternoon slump in energy. They may feel fatigued on their way home from work, which might lead to them dozing off or having a harder time focusing as they should.
Motorists who recognize when the risk of fatigued driving is highest can make better choices about when they drive and how they monitor others in traffic.