Fatigue and Road Safety

As the holiday season approaches it is timely to remind us all about the hazards of driving at this time of year. There is a significant increase in the risk of you being involved in a crash if you are becoming tired when driving. When you are starting to become tired you can’t concentrate properly on your driving and so you can’t respond as quickly and safely as you should.

What causes fatigue?

Fatigue can be caused by:

  • Driving at times you are normally asleep or in the afternoon lull, when our biological time clock makes most of us feel sleepy
  • Having a sleep disorder such as sleep apnoea
  • Lack of quality sleep

Research has shown that going without sleep for 17 hours has the same effect on driving ability as a Blood Alcohol Concentration [BAC] of 0.05 which is over the legal limit. Going without sleep for 24 hours has the same effect as a BAC of 0.1 which is double the legal limit.

Signs of fatigue

If you are tired, pull over and have a powernap. Otherwise you may experience dangerous micro sleeps and other signs of fatigue including:

  • Constant yawning
  • Drifting in the lane
  • Sore or heavy eyes
  • Trouble keeping your head up
  • Delayed reactions
  • Daydreaming
  • Difficulty remembering the last few kilometers
  • Variations in driving speed

When you are driving:

  • Take a powernap if tired
  • Cool the car interior
  • Don’t drink alcohol
  • Take regular rest breaks
  • Eat proper well balanced meals
  • Remember, that once you are fatigued the only cure is sleep!

Take from Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter Dec 2008

LifeStyle Refocus is a Melbourne based personal assistant, corporate concierge and lifestyle management consultancy. They are all about saving you TIME. By taking care of your “to do or wish list” so you can spend time doing the things that are truly important to you. For more information go to www.lifestylerefocus.com.au or contact Silvana on 0417 595 744 or Michele on 0437 311 802.

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