Tired or distracted drivers present a serious threat to safety

This article discusses avoiding distracted and fatigued driving, along with receiving benefits after a crash involving one or both of these factors.

While drunk drivers continue to present a threat to anyone on British Columbia roadways, they are not the only threat that other motorists need to look for as they travel. Tired or distracted drivers also threaten the safety of everyone around them.

Most people know that driving is an immense responsibility. Even passenger vehicles weigh in excess of 2,000 pounds, and they can act as deadly weapons - even at slow speeds. If drivers fail to take their duty to others seriously, accidents can occur that cause serious or fatal injuries to innocent people.

Avoiding fatigue behind the wheel

In today's fast-paced society, it seems as if few people truly feel rested. In fact, sleep feels like a luxury to most people. Between work, family and other obligations, there never seems enough time for sleep. Even so, drivers should take the following precautions to avoid feeling fatigued when they drive:

· Get a good night's sleep.

· Don't drive during normal sleep hours whenever possible

· Drive during the day if possible.

· Travel with someone who can take over and/or help the driver stay alert.

· Take a nap when needed.

Just as many drivers make it a priority to remain sober when driving, they also need to make rest a priority in order to avoid fatigue.

Avoiding distractions behind the wheel

Technology makes our lives easier and more complicated at the same time. Smart phones keep the world at people's fingertips, but they also can provide a deadly distraction while driving. Most everyone knows that putting away their cellphones decreases the possibility of an accident, but they many sometimes forget the following tips to avoid distracted driving:

· Don't eat or drink while driving.

· Make sure objects in the vehicle aren't moving around.

· Don't let passengers become a distraction.

· Don't attend to personal grooming while driving.

· Keep music, podcasts or other auditory distractions to a minimum.

Nearly everyone has given in to a distraction on occasion, and the fact that an accident did not occur because of it may have more to do with luck than any "skill" behind the wheel. It only takes a few seconds for the landscape and traffic to change around a vehicle. By the time a distracted or fatigued driver's attention is back on the road, it could be too late.

Avoiding a fatigued or distracted driver

Motorists have no way of knowing whether the drivers around them got a good night's sleep or could suddenly allow a distraction to take their attention off of driving. Even so, some behaviors may indicate that something is wrong, and drivers should do their best to avoid those vehicles. If that isn't possible, and a collision happens, compensation may be obtainable through the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.

Obtaining benefits through the ICBC may not be easy, however. People often encounter difficulties in receiving much needed benefits due to denials, unreasonable settlement offers and discontinued benefits. Increasing the chances of receiving the compensation and benefits deserved often involves enlisting the aid and guidance of an experienced lawyer who works with individuals and the ICBC on a regular basis.