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Motorists Admit To Driving Whilst Tired

posted on Aug 17 2015 by Kiri Nowak

Motorists Admit To Driving Whilst Tired

Do you drive whilst tired? Some drivers will happily get behind the wheel when they are feeling tired, and don’t realise just how dangerous it can be. According to Think!, ‘almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep-related.’

Sometimes you get into your car thinking you are fine, and then after five or ten minutes of driving you start to feel tired. This is when people should take a break. Pull over somewhere or stop at the services until you feel it’s safe for you to drive again.

Falling asleep for just a split second at the wheel is enough to cause an accident. John Quail, managing director of said ‘The dangers of getting behind the wheel when tired can often be overlooked or downplayed, when in fact driving when tired is extremely serious and can cause fatal accidents.’

A recent study by YouGov on behalf of Claims Portal found that 61% of Scottish motorists admitted to getting behind the wheel while fatigued. For more statistics read this BT Blog post about research on Scottish drivers.

In general, most accidents that are caused by fatigue happen when people would normally be sleeping. For example, when driving very late at night at the end of a long day. Driving for long periods of time can make you drowsy and tired, but people are often already fatigued due to other reasons when they step into a car.

Signs of fatigue

Some of these signs are very obvious, but it’s surprising how many people don’t even notice that they are tired. Here are some of the signs of fatigue that you might experience:

  • Yawning
  • Lack of concentration
  • Heavy eyes
  • Slow reactions
  • Daydreaming
  • Making mistakes whilst driving
  • Difficulty keeping eyes open

How to prevent driver fatigue

First and foremost, if you feel sleepy whilst driving pull over straight away. However, there are a few things you can do to prevent yourself from getting tired:

1. Listen to some upbeat music.

2. Open the windows and let some fresh air in.

3. Drink plenty of water.

4. Make frequent stops.

5. Make sure you have had enough sleep before driving.

6. Share driving on long journeys.

7. Turn the air con down (make it a little cooler and this will help to keep you alert). A warm, stuffy car will make you feel sleepy.

8. Have a conversation with someone in the car or sing out loud.

9. Do some breathing exercises to get some oxygen to your brain.

10. Don’t travel at times when you would normally be asleep or would struggle to stay awake.

11. Make sure you have eaten enough (but don’t have a heavy meal before driving as this could make you sleepy).

12. Have a caffeine boost.

13. Avoid sugar, as your energy levels will peak and then drop dramatically.

How feeling tired impacts your driving:

  • Poor judgement
  • Poor concentration
  • Limited patience
  • Poor control over your vehicle
  • Making mistakes in calculating distances and speed
  • Making bad decisions

Image courtesy of curemysleepapnea.