The risks that come when you are driving while feeling tired should not be underestimated. In fact, fatigue can deteriorate your driving skills considerably. Driving tired can be compared to driving under the influence of alcohol.
There are several things you can do in order to avoid the risk of becoming tired during your journey.
How to avoid the risk of fatigue?
- Plan your journey so that you have sufficient breaks – at least a 15 minute break every 2 hours of driving.
- Do not begin to drive if you feel tired or feel unwell
- It is important to get a good night sleep before undertaking a long journey
- Do not drive between midnight and 6 am. At this time natural level of alertness is at its minimum and this is the time when most severe accidents tend to happen.
- Familiarise yourself with the typical signs of fatigue. If you feel any of fatigue symptoms listed below, stop in a safe place and take a rest.
- If you have to continue your journey despite being tired, the most effective way to keep yourself awake is to drink some coffee or to take a power nap.
- Remember that natural sleepiness comes after eating a large meal. If you are travelling on a long journey, always drink some coffee after having a meal.
- If you are taking medication, always check the label to make sure excessive sleepiness is not one of the side effects.
What else can be done to reduce fatigue?
- Keep enough fresh air in the vehicle, make sure you have enough ventilation.
- Do not keep the interior of the car too warm
- Avoid heavy meals
- Drink coffee or water
Just like alcohol, tiredness affects our body in many ways:
- Decreases concentration and coordination ability
- Slows down decision-making
- Increases reaction time
Typical fatigue signs
- Frequent yawning
- Dryness of mouth
- Difficulty to keep eyelids open
- Feeling irritated
- Relaxation of neck muscles
- Difficulty in keeping the steady course on the road
- Feeling cold
- Feeling drowsy
- Feeling lack of concentration and alertness
If you notice any of these signals, you should stop in a safe place and have a rest.