Every time we get behind the wheel, we have a responsibility to drive safely and avoid accidents. But what, exactly does this mean?

It means refraining from behaviors that are known to be dangerous. This includes the more obvious hazards, like driving while drunk, drugged or distracted. However, there are other conditions that can make a driver unfit to operate a motor vehicle safely. These include:

  1. Being hungover – Yes, drunk driving is dangerous. And every person should know that they should not drive if they are drunk. However, as this article from AAA notes, hungover driving may not be much better. Even with a low blood alcohol concentration, recently-drunk drivers can be tired, weak, dizzy, confused and feeling sick. Such conditions can make it more difficult to make smart, fast decisions, which are crucial when driving.
  2. Being tired – Whether a person works odd hours, takes certain medications, has a new baby at home or simply does not get enough sleep, they can suffer fatigue to such an extent that they are not safe to drive. People who are sleepy or sleep-deprived can experience impaired cognitive function and slower reflexes. They can also fall asleep while driving.
  3. Being upset – People don’t always think clearly in the wake of an upsetting event or altercation. They can be distracted and irrational after getting into a fight; they may be crying and distraught after getting some sad news. Under these circumstances, it may not be safe for someone to drive.

Being mindful of these conditions and how they can adversely affect driving skills and capabilities is crucial in staying safe behind the wheel. 

Unfortunately, not every driver will recognize these and other conditions that make them an unsafe driver. As such, there will be accidents caused by drivers who should not be on the road. If this happens to you or a loved one and there are serious injuries as a result, it can be crucial to seek immediate medical attention and consult an attorney to discuss possible legal remedies.