You find your eyelids drooping involuntarily and you are fighting constant yawns. You are trying hard to focus only to quickly realise that there is an approaching vehicle and straighten the steering hurriedly. You aren’t going to be lucky every time. Drowsy driving is one of the main reasons of road collisions in Australia.
Insufficient sleep leaves a driver tired thus diverting their attention temporarily away from the road. Every one behind the wheel should be very cautious of the surrounding environment and fatigue serves as a deterrent to stay focused. However, many people who drive with fatigue try hard to stay awake and continue driving without addressing the fatigue the right way.
Take professional lessons to learn safe driving:
Every driver should be aware of the consequences of unsafe driving. They should understand that things can go wayward in a split second. If you want to reinforce the importance of safe driving to your teenager and want them to learn safe driving habits, sign them up for a Safer Drivers Course at LTrent.
It is the leading driving school in Australia that offers a specialised driving course exclusively for learner drivers. The course educated students on safe driving practices, strategies to face different road situations, and hazard awareness. Stay safe always when driving and learn ways to deal with drowsy driving. Find out why you feel sleepy in the first place when driving.
Reasons for feeling tired when driving:
- Lack of stimulation due to the monotony of driving the same route over and over again
- Consuming medication that cause drowsiness
- Driving during peak sleep time
- Inadequate sleep
- Sleeping disorders
When you are feeling tired/ sleepy you tend to microsleep unknowingly for few seconds. These unintended few seconds of sleep would result in you losing focus and closing your eyes. This is very dangerous especially when you are driving at a faster speed. If you are feeling any of the below symptoms, there is a risk of drowsy driving.
- Blinking frequently
- Continuous yawning
- Drifting over lanes
- Missing an exit
- Variations in speed
What if you feel sleepy during driving?
If you are feeling the above symptoms, pull over and take a short nap. Even a 15-minute sleep would leave you feeling refreshed. Avoid taking caffeine since you’d be drowsy again after its effects wear off. Instead you could leave the window slightly ajar, listen to loud music or keep talking to your travel partner.
How to avoid fatigue?
- Sleep for at least 7 hours before setting off on a drive and avoid taking caffeine before bed. Follow a regular sleep routine.
- Pack your bags hours and plan the route hours ahead of the journey to avoid last minute hassles.
- Take 10-minute break every 2 hours of long-distance travel.
- Avoid taking medicines that cause drowsiness
Driving for long periods without sleep causes similar impairments like drunk driving. Rest well ahead to ensure safety of you and others on the road.