Tiredness is arguably one of the most dangerous conditions to affect you when driving. Recent data from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents shows driver fatigue may be a contributory factor in up to 20% of road accidents* and up to one quarter of fatal and serious accidents**. So with that in mind, Motors.co.uk has put together its top tips to help you stay alert at the wheel.
If you know you’ve got a long journey ahead of you, make sure you’ve had plenty of sleep before you set off and be aware of any medication that can cause tiredness.
Plan your journey
Always try to time your journeys around your usual routine. It’s worth keeping in mind natural alertness is at a minimum between midnight and 6am. Make sure you know which route you’re going to take and check for available places to stop along the way. The average person needs a minimum break of around 15 minutes for every two hours of driving. You can find details of motorway services here www.motorwayservices.info/
Consider different travel options
The UK benefits from some great public transport services, so why not take advantage of these. You could try driving half of a long journey and swapping to a train or bus. This is ideal for those long, monotonous trips up and down motorways. It also helps cut your personal carbon footprint. Plan your trip, whatever the mode of transport, here www.traveline.info/
There are some less than effective measures people sometimes resort to including winding the window down and drinking strong coffee. Whilst these might give you a very brief boost they’re not an adequate way of refreshing yourself. The only real way of combatting fatigue is to take a break and sleep. With technology at our fingertips, we’d always advise you stop safely and contact friends, family or colleagues to let them know you will be slightly delayed and have a true rest before finishing your journey.
*"Fatigue and Road Safety: A Critical Analysis of Recent Evidence", Road Safety Web Publication No. 21, Department for Transport, 2011
**"Sleep-Related Crashes on Sections of Different Road Types in the UK", Road Safety Research Report No. 52, Department for Transport, 2004