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 to fall asleep behind the wheel.

Avoiding driver fatigue on long trips

  • for long trips plan in advance so you know where you are going to take a break.

  • take a break at least every 2 hours.

  • plan to stay somewhere overnight if you are going on a long journey.

  • share the driving - and make sure you rest when you are not driving.

  • try not to drive when you would normally be asleep (early mornings and late nights.

  • You should look out for these signs when you are driving (long and short trips):

  • you keep yawning

  • your reactions slow down

  • you feel stiff your eyes feel heavy

  • you find you are daydreaming

  • you wander over the centre line or

  • on to the edge of the road

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 highway 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.

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 the 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 at 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

Loading...

Search Road Safety Articles

Latest Pages

The U-Turn as a Threat to Road Safety

The U-Turn as a Threat to Road Safety

Introduction The U-Turn remains one of the most dangerous driver manoeuvres on roads worldwide. Paramedics respond daily to severe trauma from crashes that could have been prevented had it not been for the hasty decision to make a U-turn in traffic. We all know U-turns are illegal most of the time

Read More

Insurance Brokers, Clients, and Claim Repudiation

Insurance Brokers, Clients, and Claim Repudiation

Insurance Brokers are more than specialists at reducing the cost of insurance. Any Broker worth their salt would develop a long-standing relationship with their clients, advise them towards a product that benefits them in the short- and long-term, and stand by them when a claim must be processed. When

Read More

Safety With Gas

Safety With Gas

Instruction With the term “load shedding” becoming a reality for many South Africans there has been an increased focus on gas as a fuel in heating appliances, cooking equipment etc. The term “LPG” is Liquefied petroleum gas or liquid petroleum gas (LPG or LP gas), also referred

Read More

Safety, Prevention and Treatment of Burns

Safety, Prevention and Treatment of Burns

Burns in South Africa: Who is at risk? There is a high incidence of burn injuries in South Africa. The root causes of this need to be addressed, but simply being aware of the risks is enough to increase vigilance and prevention. Burns are extremely painful, often life-threatening injuries that

Read More

Car Keys, Lost Keys and Vehicle Security

Car Keys, Lost Keys and Vehicle Security

Don't you just love the feeling when you receive the keys to your new car? But what is it that you love about it? It's not the actual keys unless you're driving a very premium brand, right? It's the freedom, the joy, the power, the excitement, the smell, and the beauty associated with

Read More

How To Become a Traffic Trainee

How To Become a Traffic Trainee

Traffic enforcement is one of the most important requirements to enhance road safety. For this, it is also important to have many dedicated and well-trained traffic officers. But how do I become a traffic trainee? The RTMC has sent an e-mail to all provincial head offices of traffic and to the

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All