Driver tiredness accounts for around one fifth of accidents on major roads. We've all had to travel at the end of a long day or to make that early morning meeting, but by following some of this simple advice you can help yourself and others to stay safe on the road.
Before you start your journey:
Firstly and most importantly you should avoid starting a journey if you are tired. Make sure that you have a good night's sleep before you drive and if possible share the driving.
Avoid driving when you'd normally be asleep - we're naturally at our least alert between midnight and 6am so if possible plan your journeys to avoid driving at these times.
Planning your journey can also cut down on the time it takes and increase your safety. For long journeys (more than 2 hours) you should plan a break at least once every 2 hours, even if you don't feel tired when you reach the two hour mark you will return to the car feeling refreshed and ready to continue.
Be aware that during the afternoon (between 2pm and 4pm) most people are not fully alert. Make sure to closely monitor your tiredness levels if you have to drive during these times.
On your journey:
If you start to feel tired when you are already on your journey then winding down the windows or turning up the radio just doesn't help. Ideally you should stop driving and have a proper sleep when you start to feel drowsy, but if this really isn't possible then try one of these handy tips to staying alert:
- Drink 2 or more caffeine drinks to help revive your drive - just remember to wait for them to take effect before setting out again (this usually takes about 15 minutes).
- Find somewhere safe to pull over and take a break, even a 15 minute nap can make a big difference.