Get a good night sleep before you head off, that’s the message today from road safety advocates – GEM Motoring Assist.
Driving tired can be just as deadly as drink-driving, in fact, a U.S. study recently determined that up to a third of all fatal car crashes involve tired drivers.
While a 2016 study by the National Sleep Foundation said drowsy driving was killing more than 6,000 people annually in the U.S. alone.
It was also found that 4% of Americans are regularly falling asleep at the wheel of their car.
The only remedy to fatigue is to rest and get a good night sleep, says GEM’s road safety officer Neil Worth.
“Being a safer driver means being physically and mentally prepared to drive.
“If we all got the amount of sleep we need, there would be fewer crashes, fewer near-crashes and fewer road rage incidents.
“Well-rested drivers are much more likely to remain alert; they see hazards developing earlier and they can react to them in good time.”
Tips for Reducing Driver Tiredness/Fatigue:
- Give yourself the opportunity to get a good night’s sleep – preferably every night and certainly before you need to make a road journey
- Understand that a sleep deficit of just a couple of hours can lead to irritability and can also increase someone’s likelihood to take irrational risks
- Feeling drowsy in the middle of the day doesn’t make you lazy – for most people it’s a natural part of the daily cycle of sleep and wakefulness
- Taking a short nap during the working day may not be a possibility for everyone, but it’s much better than relying on stimulant drinks to keep awake
- For driving, fatigue is a serious risk, so don’t begin a long journey if you’re already tired.
And what do you do if you feel sleepy while driving?
Neil says you just have to stop, regardless.
“Resting and drinking some coffee offers a possible short-term fix, but the only proper cure for sleepiness is good sleep.”