Are you experiencing some signs of fatigue when driving your car? Perhaps it is about time that you get familiar with the signs of driver fatigue in this article.
Driver fatigue can be a cause of long periods of being awake and the lack of quality rest. Note that drivers can be a subject of fatigue. This is even more evident in commercial drivers, night-shift workers, taking prescription drugs, and those with undiagnosed sleep disorders.
Remember that when a driver is affected by fatigue, he or she is less aware of what is happening around him or her. So, the driver can have impaired decision-making abilities, judgment, and slowed reaction times. If you do fall asleep and cause a wreck, there are three steps to follow after a car accident.
Of course, you should avoid an accident if possible. Try to avoid driving while tired. If you are expecting any of these symptoms, you should pull over and get some rest as soon as possible.
Driver fatigue symptoms
You may find these symptoms help you determine if you are already showing signs of fatigue.
- Difficulty to focus
- Repeated yawning and unable to keep eyes open
- Feeling irritable, impatient, and restless
- Wandering thoughts
- Short lapses in memory
- Drifting to the shoulder
- Back tension, burning eyes, and shallow breathing
- Abnormal driving behavior
- Speeding, tailgating, and ignoring traffic signs
Fatigue can greatly affect your driving
Getting fatigued when driving can have a great impact on your driving. In fact, it can affect your ability to drive safely, which is similar to the effect of drunk driving.
That said, your driving ability can greatly be impaired when you are awake for a total of 17 hours without sleeping. This is similar to a 0.05 blood alcohol concentration. However, going without sleep for a day can have the same effect as a 0.1 blood alcohol concentration, which is double the limit allowed by law.
- You may find it hard to remember the last few miles you have driven, tend to daydream or miss the traffic signs or exits.
- You can also drift from your lane or find it hard to maintain a consistent and correct speed.
- You may also find it hard to determine if the traffic lights have changed.
Tips to prevent fatigue-related crashes
It is easy to prevent fatigue just by having a regular sleep routine and getting lots of rest. It can also help to avoid traveling late at night or driving alone.
The moment you sense some signs of fatigue, you have to pull over in a safe and well-lighted area where you can take a nap. You may also take a break every couple of hours, when you are on a long ride, and keep the temperature inside your car down.
- Take regular breaks
- Avoid traveling over 8 hours daily
- Have a good night’s sleep before a long trip
- Share the driving if possible
- Avoid drinking alcohol before a trip
- Don’t travel during your nap time
- Have a 15-minute powernap whenever you feel drowsy
When you fail to get enough sleep, you can risk yourself and others on the road. Remember that people don’t get fatigued from driving. So, they may already be tired to get behind the wheel from long hours of work, such as mentally or physically demanding tasks.