Driver fatigue: how to avoid tiredness while driving

Driver fatigue is reckoned to be a bigger contributor to injury and death on the roads than drug driving. Around 20% of collisions are thought to be fatigue-related, and up to a quarter of fatal and serious accidents.

Fall asleep at the wheel, and you won’t brake or steer away from danger. You’ll go on to hit something – another car, a brick wall, or maybe a pedestrian – without slowing down at all. It only takes a moment. If driver fatigue causes you to nod off on the motorway for just six seconds, you’ll have traveled nearly 200 metres.

It’s not just falling asleep completely that can cause an accident. If driver fatigue makes you drowsy, you’ll make worse decisions and will react more slowly to hazards. Some studies suggest driving while tired is as bad as driving while just over the drink-drive limit.

You wouldn’t drive drunk, so why drive tired?

A quick coffee or energy drink might wake you up for a while but when the effect wears off you’ll end up feeling more tired than you did before.

So if you are really tired, the safest thing you can do is to stop and rest. A nap of around 10-20 minutes should help.

Better to arrive late than to not arrive at all.

Six ways to beat driver fatigue

  1. Get a good night’s rest before a long journey.
  2. Avoid alcohol. Even if it is clear of your system by the time you drive it reduces the quality of sleep. If it’s still in your system the combination of driver fatigue and drink can be deadly.
  3. Take regular breaks. Stop for a breather every two hours to help you stay alert.
  4. Share the driving. Short-term insurance from companies like Cuvva.com, Dayinsure.com, and Veygo.com make it easy to arrange quick cover so a mate can take a turn behind the wheel.
  5. Don’t drive late at night or in the early hours of the morning when you are likely to feel fatigued and sleepy.

Stay Connected

5,005FansLike
50,100FollowersFollow
4,560SubscribersSubscribe

Advertisment Feature

Learners shelling out more than a grand on theory test attempts

Driving theory test candidates at 10 test centres spent more than £1,000 each getting their pass certificate*. The AA Driving School can reveal the...

Discover the ultimate tool for learner drivers: the Official DVSA Theory Test Kit

Study With the Official DVSA Theory Test Kit, you’ll have access to a wide range of practice materials that covers all 14 topics of the...

Safe Driving for Life eLearning

Passing your theory test is a big step towards getting your ‘keys to freedom’, and it’s important to gain the knowledge and understanding needed...

The new Official DVSA Highway Code app has recently launched!

The Official DVSA Highway Code app is an important tool for all road users, helping you staying up to date with the latest rules...

Safety by choice, not by chance

A  road safety campaign in Wales helps inform, educate, and influence the behaviour and attitudes of young and new drivers.   The “Safety By Choice,...

Other articles for you