Tips for Avoiding Driver Fatigue

We all know about the dangers of distractions while driving, but many people underestimate just how damaging fatigue can be to a driver. Feeling tired causes an array of issues. You will find that your reaction times tend to dip, plus you may get more irritable when you are on the road. In the worst case scenario, you may end up falling asleep at the wheel. Falling asleep for just one second while driving at 60 miles per hour means you travel for 30 metres while you have no control over the vehicle. One minute makes a mile. That’s a lot of potential for danger in a very short period of time.

Fatigue causes many accidents every year, so it is crucial that you don’t drive while you’re tired. Here are a few tips to help you avoid the problem.

Open a Window

This is definitely a short-term fix, but one that can prove useful when you are in a bind. If you start to feel droopy-eyed, crack the window a little. The breeze from outside should hit you hard enough to perk you up for a few minutes. This will give you enough time to find a safe spot where you can pull over.

Take a Nap

Now we obviously don’t mean that you should go to sleep while you are driving. Instead, find somewhere safe to pull up and take a nap. Even sleeping for 15 or 20 minutes can give you the boost you need to complete the journey. Of course, you will need much longer if you have been missing out on sleep at home. The key is to get some sleep and not start driving again until you feel awake and alert enough to handle the dangers of the road.

Take Regular Breaks

You may find yourself feeling weary on long journeys, even if you have enjoyed plenty of sleep the night before. The motion of a vehicle can be tiring. This is especially true when driving on the motorway. Fewer changes in scenery and a pretty straightforward drive can both lull you into unexpected tiredness. Make sure you take plenty of breaks to combat this. Even if you don’t need to sleep, the change in scenery will usually be enough to wake you up again. As a general rule, try to take a break every 100 miles. Of course, you should take more frequent breaks if you feel yourself starting to get tired.

Know the Warning Signs

Fatigue can sneak up on you while you’re driving, so you must know the warning signs before you get behind the wheel. Catch yourself if your mind starts to wander. Also, it helps to think back to the last couple of miles you drove. If you can’t remember anything about them, this is a sign that your brain is getting tired. Of course, there are also more physical signs that you should be aware of. Take a break if you catch yourself yawning if your head keeps dropping. You should also be wary of you keep having to correct your steering or you have started following cars closer than you normally would.