We’ve all done it. Gotten into our car to start a journey while tired. Maybe it’s after a long day of activity or work. Then we are faced into a long drive home. Maybe it’s an early start after a very late night. But driver fatigue is not something that should be ignored.
A recent survey done by AA Car Insurance of almost 10,000 motorists showed that almost 10% admitted to keeping driving on a long journey. Even when they are starting to feel the effects of fatigue.
Something as simple as stopping at a garage or shop to grab a coffee and taking time out to rest can help combat fatigue.
A campaign being run by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) offers simple, easy to remember advice to drivers if they are feeling tired “Stop, Sip, Sleep”.
Stop Sip Sleep
According to the RSA if drivers begin to notice signs of driver fatigue they should follow these guidelines:
- Stop: park in a safe place, preferably somewhere where you are able to get a coffee / tea
- Sip: take a caffeine drink (150 mg of caffeine e.g. 2 cups of coffee).
- Sleep: and then a 15-minute nap (most important)—set your mobile phone alarm to wake you. After the nap, the caffeine should have started to take effect.
- Finally, get some fresh air and stretch your legs for a few minutes before resuming your journey.
While these guidelines will help you drive for a little longer. They should not be used as techniques to regularly drive for long periods of time without rest.
One interesting point that the AA survey found was that almost 10% of those surveyed stated they had tried and failed to find a suitable place to stop for a coffee and/or short rest.
Driver fatigue plays a significant role in driver fatalities in Ireland every single year. And tiredness-related collisions are 3 times more likely to result in death or serious injury. This is due to the increased chances of high speed impacts and the inability to take evasive action. Driving while tired is not worth it. You may get to your destination a little sooner, but you also may not arrive at all. So, don’t take the chance, if feeling tired, Stop, Sip, Sleep.