Transport Accident Commission has a great article educating drivers on the causes, symptoms and solutions to driver fatigue.
They site that driving drowsy is a primary cause in over 20% of road fatalities. And most fatigue-related accidents occur during normal sleeping hours, and the more severe the crash, the more likely it is that the driver or drivers were fatigued.
An important fact they point out is that many people think fatigue is only a problem for long-distance drivers, however it is just as relevant for short-distance drives. People generally don’t become fatigued from driving. Usually they are already tired when they get behind the wheel from long hours, shift work, lack of sleep, sleep apnoea or physically demanding roles.
Another interesting fact they educate on is that your body can’t fight the need to sleep. Chemicals build up in your brain until they reach a tipping point and you will fall asleep.
Here are the causes they point to for drowsy driving:
They urge you to remember that you can’t fight sleep.
Some of the symptoms of fatigue are the next things pointed out:
Fatigue can be easy to detect. TAC points out a few:
Some effects fatigue can have on your driving are:
Fatigue has a huge impact on your driving and can affect your ability to drive safely, similar to the effect of drink driving. Research shows that being awake for 17 hours has the same affect on your driving ability as a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.05. Going without sleep for 24 hours has the same affect as a BAC of 0.1, double the legal limit.
The only way to address fatigue is by sleeping. Make a choice not to drive when tired or follow these guidelines to prevent fatigue:
The information provided in this article was influenced in part by Traffic Accident Commission