June 27, 2008

Driving fatigue – The facts

Driving fatigue is the mishap of a driver feeling sleepy or tired. As a driver, you must ensure that you are fit and healthy to commence any journey. If you are feeling in any way tired, then it is strictly recommended you do not drive.

It is reported that driver lethargy causes at least 10 % of motoring accidents and causes 1 in 5 disasters in truck driving. Most of these accidents are work related involving trucks and goods vehicles. It is perturbing to know that most of these incidents happen on the motorway or truck roads.

The body’s natural clock low points are between 2am and 6am and mid afternoon 2pm between 4pm, that is why if you are to drive between these hours then it is a necessity to be alert and awake. At these times are when most of sleep related catastrophes occur.

Death and serious injury are the most likely results in accidents where drivers are tired, fallen asleep and fail to break.

Most at risk are men aged 18-30 and account for 50% of sleep related accidents. Sleepiness takes more lives than drunkenness on the road.

Last year there were at least 40,000 serious injuries and 3500 deaths caused by drowsiness.

If you have read your Highway Code you will be aware of the rules that state as a driver you must have sufficiently rested before driving. Also that you should plan ahead any journey you are to make.

If you do drive and are unfortunately succumbed to tiredness, then the correct procedure to carry out, is to stop in a safe place then either swap drivers or take a nap in an appropriate place, till then, open a window or ensure a supply of fresh air.

If you experience regular fatigue, then consult your doctor as soon as possible because you may have a health problem.

Remember tiredness kills, make sure you are alert and save lives by being a responsible driver.

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