Drivers up and down the country must appreciate the significant dangers of taking to the roads when tired.
Fatigue can have a significant impact on an individual’s ability to drive safely and therefore road safety charity IAM RoadSmart believes all motorists should understand its importance.
How to avoid tiredness when driving
IAM head of driving and riding standards Richard Gladman commented: “Even the fittest of us need regular sleep to perform at our highest standards. Driving requires full concentration at all times and if you are tired, your ability to concentrate is reduced.”
As a result, Mr Gladman has offered a set of simple rules to follow that can play a crucial role in helping drivers to avoid this significant danger:
- Ensure you are regularly getting a good night’s rest – failure to do so can build fatigue over time.
- If you have any prescribed medication, speak to your doctor about its potential impact on tiredness – you should avoid driving if medication will cause drowsiness.
- Take regular rest breaks when on long journeys – long hours behind the wheel can sap energy quickly, especially when faced with the monotony of motorways.
- If necessary, plan overnight stops – it’s better to break up a journey and rest before reaching your destination than run the risk of excessive fatigue.
Finally, Mr Gladman explained that extreme tiredness can cause people to suffer from ‘micro sleep’. This is where the body switches off for short periods – this could be for a fraction of a second or longer.
This might not sound too risky, but when driving at 70mph, a vehicle is travelling at 31 metres per second.
Heather Stark, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, comments: “Tiredness kills and that is the ultimate impact of fatigue for drivers. Make sure you are always well rested when taking to the roads, or the consequences could be dire.”