ONLY DUMMIES SLEEP AT THE WHEEL
CAR CRASHWASN’t A DREAM
One in six crashes resulting in death and injury on South African roads are fatigue-related. Research shows that even moderate sleep deprivation affects driving performance to the same degree as low-level alcohol intoxication.
Tiredness impacts on your driving ability, reaction times (being able to brake quickly), judgement (e.g. working out how sharp a bend is) and cause poor concentration which can increase your chances of having an accident.
You need to be fully alert and aware of what’s going on around you when driving so if you notice any of these signs then you are too sleepy to drive:
Drifting across lanes
Struggling to recall driving
Fixating on driving towards lights on the road at night
Don’t begin a long journey if you’re tired
If you’re driving a long distance, plan your trip and take regular breaks (around every two hours)
Avoid driving in the early hours of the morning
Around 4 am and after the post-lunch energy dip between 2 pm and 4 pm. This is when sleep-related motoring accidents are most likely to occur
If you start to feel drowsy on your journey, pull over when it’s safe and legal to do so and take a power nap or get 20 minutes rest. Make sure you don’t set off as soon as you’ve woken, you need to become fully alert again before you can drive
Until you can find a safe space to pull into, focus on finding a safe place to stop, putting on some music on to perk you up, opening the windows for fresh air or turning on the air-con to boost alertness are very short term measures! If you have a passenger, ask them to talk to you and ask questions. These shouldn’t be used as strategies to continue driving for miles but just to get to you a suitable space to take a break and/or nap
Stay hydrated and avoid high carb and sugary snacks that result in an energy slump
It’s important to get a good night’s sleep before attempting a long drive