Arrive Alive

Actions For The Drowsy Driver

Introduction

We can do much research on driver tiredness and provide lots of statistical data to confirm the dangers of driver tiredness. 

We can also share many road crash photos of head-on and rollover crashes where the contributing factors are difficult to explain other than possible driver tiredness. 

But how do we reduce road crashes which have been caused by driver tiredness?

Raising Awareness of the Risks of Driver Tiredness

Publicity campaigns may raise awareness about the problem of driver fatigue and possible countermeasures.

International campaigns have focused on some of these themes:

• Driving when fatigued is a risk equal to driving drunk
• Tactical use of driver rotation, caffeine, napping
• Encouraging drivers to consider fatigue-related driving risk as a personal responsibility
• Educating the community on minimum sleep requirements and fatigue warning signs
• Challenging existing incorrect beliefs about personal ability to cope with fatigue
• Targeting specific populations (such as driving schools, sleep disorder clinics) with direct education. 

Raising only Awareness of Driver Fatigue not Sufficient

Researcher have concluded that in general, a road safety publicity campaign, by itself, has only modest impact on attitudes and behaviour and no significant impact on crashes. Safety campaigns work best when combined with other interventions, such as enforcement of traffic laws and regulations, or provision of other safety services and products.

Perception of sleepiness does not result in cessation of driving. Although it is possible to educate or teach drivers to become more aware of the early signs of fatigue or sleepiness, it may be very difficult to make them take a break from driving. 

A problem for driver fatigue campaigns is that public fatigue campaigns is that fatigued driving by private drivers is not punishable by law. It is therefore difficult if not impossible, at least where private drivers are concerned to link public campaign themes with enforcement or legal consequences. For professional drivers, the case is different where there may be legislation and the possibility of enforcement concerning work and rest hours.

As a online road safety portal we can however play a small part in raising awareness of these risks, and motivate not only drivers but also passengers to help identify when a driver may be fatigued.

Once driving, motorists should:

  • Look for the warning signs of fatigue: Drivers who
    • can't remember the last few kilometers driven
    • drift from their lanes or hit a rumble strip
    • experience wandering or disconnected thoughts
    • yawn repeatedly
    • have difficulty focusing or keeping their eyes open
    • tailgate or miss traffic signs
    • have trouble keeping their head up
    • keep jerking their vehicles back into the lane
  • Recognize that they are in danger of falling asleep and cannot predict when a microsleep may occur.
  • Not count on the radio, open window or other "tricks" to keep them awake.
  • Respond to symptoms of fatigue by finding a safe place to stop for a break.
  • Pull off into a safe area away from traffic and take a brief nap (15 to 45 minutes) if tired.
  • Drink coffee or a functional energy drink to promote short-term alertness if needed. (It takes about 30 minutes for caffeine to enter the bloodstream.)

Identify the signs of Driver Fatigue/ Tiredness

If Tired, Stop, Rest! 

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

  • Stop at a roadside rest area . If no such facility is available, make sure that you are as far off the freeway as possible.
  • If it is after dark, find a lighted area to park.
  • Give yourself a little outside air, but make sure that windows are closed enough to prevent entry from the outside.
  • Lock all doors.
  • Turn on your parking lights and turn off other electrical equipment.
  • After you rest, get out of the vehicle and walk for a few minutes to be sure you are completely awake before you begin to drive again.

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. Tiredness is often perceived as one of the "driver distractions" taking the eyes and concentration of the driver away from driving.

Fatigue too often results in preventable 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 Fatigue and Road Safety

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

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

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

Loading...

Search Road Safety Articles

Latest Pages

Overhang from a vehicle and flags for Safety

Overhang from a vehicle and flags for Safety

Introduction: We often find drivers transporting goods and materials that cannot safely fit inside their vehicles. This need not be your usual overloading but rather instances where the obect is to lengthy or wide to fit in the vehicle. These objects such as ladders are then transported on the

Read More

Car Rental and Road Safety

Car Rental and Road Safety

Background Information South Africa has become a tourist destination of choice and planning after the World Cup in 2010 will further strive to enhance the safety of visitors. Car Rental companies have an important role to play in enhancing the safety of business people and tourists on our roads. Many

Read More

Safe driving in the mountains / mountain passes

Safe driving in the mountains / mountain passes

Introduction With a rather extensive road network across South Africa drivers are bound to traverse across mountains and mountain passes at some time. Even though this may be an exhilarating experience, we often find drivers behind the wheel without the necessary experience and awareness of the unique

Read More

Safe Driving and Towing a Trailer Safely

Safe Driving and Towing a Trailer Safely

Introduction to trailers and safer driving in South Africa In many recent crash reports, a trailer is found somewhere on or near the crash scene. Surveys confirm that many trailer owners are not fully aware of the safest method of towing cargo. We need to recognize that safety information is important

Read More

MasterDrive and Road Safety

MasterDrive and Road Safety

MasterDrive is a result-driven, driver training organisation that engages with and assists companies in managing driver risk interventions. The company was established in 1999 and became part of the RAC Group (established in 1997). By 2008 MasterDrive expanded its field of operation to cover the African

Read More

Safety from Fire at our Homes

Safety from Fire at our Homes

Emergency personnel have to respond to fires at homes and informal settlements across South Africa. In the bitterly cold winter weather, the risk of injury from fire significantly increases. We received safety information from both ER24 and the KZN Emergency services on how to protect ourselves from

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All