Arrive Alive

Driver Fatigue And Road Safety

Driver Fatigue is a Threat to All Road Users

Almost everyone knows that driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is a deadly combination. However, few people seem to realize the danger associated with driving while fatigued. In fact, drivers who become drowsy or fall asleep at the wheel contribute to thousands of crashes each year.

Fatigue is a condition that affects everyone. Although typically associated with long-distance driving, fatigue can set in after a long day at work, an outing at the beach, or virtually any activity. Circadian rhythm, the body's natural rhythm associated with the earth's rotation, causes nearly everyone to be less alert or even drowsy between 1 and 5 p.m.

Emotional stress, illness, or boredom can also cause fatigue. Sun glare, a major factor in eyestrain, can contribute to fatigue. Overeating, drinking alcoholic beverages, or riding in an overheated or very cold vehicle can compound the effects.

What can you do to prevent tiredness from making you another crash statistic?

Start any trip by getting enough sleep the night before - at least six hours is recommended. Wear good quality sunglasses, avoid heavy foods and, of course, don't consume any alcohol during your trip. If you can, have another person ride with you, so you will have someone to talk to and who can share the driving. Avoid driving during your body's downtime.

Be on the alert for these signs of sleepiness: trouble keeping your eyes open, difficulty paying attention, or yawning frequently. If you notice any of these danger signs, stop periodically for a rest, and if needed, a quick nap - even 20 minutes will help. During your break, get some exercise - it helps you become more alert quickly.

The problem with long-distance driving is that many people do not know, or choose to ignore, how much driving is too much. On long trips, schedule a 15-minute break outside the vehicle every two hours or every 160 km. There is no rule to say how far you should drive at any given time, but no destination is worth risking your life. Don't overextend yourself. Determine a reasonable distance in advance, and stop driving when you reach it.

If you must stop for a rest, stop at a designated rest area or parking lot. It usually is not advisable to just pull off to the side of the road to sleep, yet there may be times when it is better to pull off the road and nap than to continue driving and chance falling asleep behind the wheel.

Avoiding driver fatigue on long trips

If you must stop along the roadway to rest, follow these precautions:

With compliments from www.raf.co.za

Also View

Nutrition and Road Safety

Healthy Eating, Driver Fitness and Safer Driving

Physical Fitness and Safer Driving

Driver Fatigue and Road Safety

Safety Advice for Long Distance Driving

 

We would like to advise visitors to also view these other pages:

Driver tiredness is one of the most significant threats to safety of all road users. This is often seen as one of the "driver distractions" taking the eyes and concentration of the driver away from driving. Driver tiredness often leads to head-on collisions and rollover crashes.

On the Arrive Alive website this is discussed on several pages with reference to Driver tiredness, Driver Fatigue and Drowsiness.

Driver Tiredness

https://www.arrivealive.co.za/Driver-Tiredness

Facts about Drowsy Driving Internationally

https://www.arrivealive.co.za/Facts-About-Drowsy-Driving-Internationally

Fatigue and Road Safety [Fleetwatch info for fleet operators]

https://www.arrivealive.co.za/Fatigue

European Report on Fatigue

https://www.arrivealive.co.za/documents/fatigue_Report.pdf

Driver Fatigue -Who is most ar Risk?

https://www.arrivealive.co.za/Driver-Fatigue-Who-is-most-at-Risk

Actions for the Drowsy Driver

https://www.arrivealive.co.za/Actions-For-The-Drowsy-Driver

Energy Drinks, Driver Alertness and Safe Driving

https://www.arrivealive.co.za/Energy-Drinks-Driver-Alertness-Tiredness-and-Safe-Driving

Endurance Sports, Driver Fatigue and Road Safety

https://www.arrivealive.co.za/Endurance-Sports-Driver-Fatigue-and-Road-Safety

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