Fighting fatigue on your daily commute

Date posted: May 2, 2013

Top tips on how to avoid driving tired to ensure a safe journey.

Driving to work whilst half asleep is something that many of us do every morning and don’t really give it a second thought, but driving whilst tired is really dangerous and results in thousands of motoring accidents every year.

Tiredness causes lack of concentration and so, If you drive whilst tired, you’re not giving the road your full attention, immediately putting your safety and the safety of other road users in jeopardy. To drive a car, you need to be alert, aware of what’s going on around you and know what you’re doing.

To avoid driving tired, please read the tips below…

Before your journey

The most obvious, yet most common mistake that motorists make, is lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation will affect your whole day, not just your commute to work, so make sure you have a good night’s sleep before setting out on a journey, especially if it’s a long one.

  • If your commute is just over an hour or even ranges above two hours, make sure you plan to include a 15-minute break to restore your concentration.
  • Remember the risks and prepare yourself if you have to get up unusually early to start your journey, or have a lengthy drive home after a full day’s work.
  • If your taking medicines ensure they don’t make you drowsy, otherwise you’re in danger of falling asleep at the wheel.
  • Even if you are a shift worker, try not to drive for long periods between the hours of 12.00 midnight and 8.00am because you are naturally more ‘switched off’ during this period.

During your journey

  • Remember to take a break if you’re driving for an extended period.
  • If you start to feel sleepy, find somewhere safe to stop for ten minutes or so. Drinking some coffee or other high caffeine drink are effective methods of combating tiredness.

There is a myth that opening the window and letting cool air in to wake you up is effective, however, this will do little to prevent you from falling asleep. Turning up the radio won’t aid you either; it’ll only distract you from the wheel even more.

Safe Motoring

Safe Motoring says, “Fatigue reduces your reaction times and makes you far less able to do things that would usually come easily to you and despite how quickly you think you can react, it’s probably nowhere near the reality.

“Not to mention that if you choose to ignore the obvious risks of driving tired, then you could end up falling asleep at the wheel, which could leave you seriously injured or even killed. Of course you might escape injury yourself and kill another road user, leaving you facing criminal charges and a lifetime of ‘what if’s’.

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