Between 20% and 30% of all road traffic accidents (RTAs) on Australia’s roads occur due to driver fatigue.
This means that sleep deprivation accounts for more accidents than driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. But how does being involved in an RTA caused by sleep deprivation impact you, and what do you need to do in the aftermath of such an accident?
Injuries & vehicular damage
Whiplash, brain and head injuries, spinal injuries, and psychological trauma are the most common injuries sustained by Australian drivers involved in an RTA.
Rear-end crashes, in particular, are known for causing trauma to the chest, head neck, and spine, while up to 40% of people who are involved in an RTA go on to experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In addition, crashing your vehicle while sleep deprived will most likely cause a severe amount of damage to your vehicle, and may even write it off.
Your health comes first
Before you worry about dealing with the damage to your car, it’s crucial that you get your health on track. Your health insurance policy will ensure that any medical costs and ongoing care you require as a result of your accident are paid for.
Currently, just 45.1% of Australians have private healthcare cover, so if you one of the millions of people not yet covered, consider obtaining a health insurance quote to see how you could benefit from being protected.
Your set of wheels
Along with utilising your health insurance, you’re also going to need to make a claim on your car insurance. Most insurance companies won’t penalise you for crashing your vehicle while tired, so you should be upfront with them.
By doing this, it will ensure that your claim is settled quickly and efficiently so that you can prepare yourself to get back on the road.
Getting back behind the wheel
You’re naturally going to worry that you’ll be hit by another bout of tiredness when you get back behind the wheel. As such, it’s crucial that you only ever drive when you’ve had a good night’s sleep and feel refreshed.
If you’re feeling particularly stressed or anxious about driving again, you should take baby steps. Start by driving just to the end
of your road and back with a friend or family member sitting beside you.
This will allow you to gradually build your confidence back up over time.
Sleep deprivation hits everyone from time to time. And while it’s best to avoid driving when you’re feeling this way, plenty of people risk it. If you do wind up being involved in an RTA as a result, you should stay calm and think logically about how you’re going to get yourself and your vehicle back on the road.