How To Prevent Driver Fatigue
Whether it’s a truck driver hauling your next load on a long delivery or a someone driving back from a business trip they didn’t sleep a wink during, they probably have one thing in common: driver fatigue. This comes about when a driver has had a lack of physical or mental energy and their performance dwindles. This commonly due to lack of sufficient sleep. And the reason behind that can be a number of things (working too many hours, stress, insomnia or sleep apnoea, etc.). However, no matter the reason, drivers fatigue can be a fatal hazard to both the driver and any victim driving nearby. So what can be done when one is fatigued while driving?
Try to make it a goal to get a good night’s sleep every night. Try not to drive when your body is naturally drowsy. If you’re so sleepy that you may fall asleep behind the wheel, choose a safe place to pull over and rest. It’s better to take a nap on the side of the road than to cause harm to you or someone else.
Naps Aren’t Just for Kids
Taking a short nap is a great way to get an energy boost. When feeling drowsy or less alert while driving, take a nap in a safe spot you can stop at. Naps should consist anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minutes. Always try to give yourself at least 15 minutes to wake up after your nap before you resume driving.
Know the Symptoms
- Sore or heavy eyes
- Delayed reaction times
- Not concentrating on your driving
- Driving speed creeps up or down
- Loss of motivation
“Alertness Tricks” Don’t Work
Any kind of alertness trick you can think of (smoking, turning up the radio, slapping yourself, drinking coffee, and opening the window) aren’t the best cures for fixing drowsiness. They can help for a little bit, but that fatigue is still there and it’s dangerous. When in doubt, nap.