Fatigue is known as one of the major causes of road accidents in the country today. To further understand fatigue, it’s good to know what it actually means. According to the Oxford Dictionary, “Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.” A fatigued driver behind the wheels of a vehicle is a recipe for disaster but this can be prevented. Below are useful techniques to help.
- Get Enough Sleep An obvious cause of fatigue is lack of sleep. If you haven’t received seven or eight hours of sleep the night before a trip, you’re courting fatigue. Get enough rest. And don’t start a trip late in the day. Long-distance driving is hard work, and you need to be fresh and alert. Drowsiness can decrease your response time and increase the chances of being in a crash. If you start to feel sleepy while you’re driving, choose a safe place to pull over and rest.
- Don’t Drive Alone A good way to fight fatigue is to have someone in the vehicle with you. If possible, take turns driving and also your passangers serves as conversation partners to keep you awake.
- Avoid Long Drives At Night The glare of lights, both on your dashboard and outside your car, increases the danger of highway hypnosis.
- Take Frequent Breaks If drowsiness sets in, stop at a fueling station, restaurant or rest stop. Get out of the car, walk around, even jog or do calisthenics. Exercise fights fatigue.
- Avoid Medication That Can Cause Drowsiness Check your medication for labels that tell you not to drive or operate machinery when taking them. Some of these medicines include muscle relaxers, sleeping pills, allergy medicines, and cold medicines. Talk to your doctor before you get behind the wheel if you’re taking any of these.
- Avoid Alcohol Beverages “Don’t drink and drive” is an all too familiar phrase known by all. This is no joke. Alcohol dulls the senses which is dangerous when driving, so stay away from it.
If all anti-fatigue measures fail, and you start noticing the danger signs of fatigue, then there is only one solution. Sleep. If no hotels or rest areas are in sight, pull off the road in a safe area which is well-lit and take a nap. Even 20 minutes of sleep will refresh you enough to keep going until you reach a safe rest area.