Signs of fatigue can seriously impair your driving skills while on the road. When you are fatigued your reactions are much slower, your ability to concentrate on driving is reduced and it takes longer to interpret and understand what is happening with the other traffic.
Fatigue related crashes are often more severe than others because driver’s reaction times are delayed or they have failed to make any maneuvers to avoid a crash. Add fatigue to alcohol or speeding and it is a lethal mix.
Driver fatigue is now considered a serious road safety issue, claiming more than forty deaths and nearly a thousand injuries in road crashes in 2006 alone.
Over the period of 2002 to 2006, driver fatigue was identified as being responsible for 256 deaths or twelve percent of fatal crashes, and more than 4,350 injuries.
Recent international research has suggested that driver fatigue is under- represented in accident statistics, and some estimates show that it could be a contributing factor in twenty to twenty four percent of fatal crashes.
To make drivers aware of the dangers of fatigue driving, herewith are the warning signs that one has to strictly observed:
— Blinking or yawning frequently.
— Having trouble keeping your head up.
— Eyes closing for a moment or going out of focus.
— Having wandering or disconnected thoughts.
— Realizing that you have slowed down unintentionally.
— Braking too late.
— Not being able to remember driving the last few kilometers or miles.
— And the most dangerous warning sign of all: Drifting over the median line unto the other side of the road.
It is urged that drivers have to recognize the symptoms of fatigue and not feeling to acknowledge the warning signs for any potential deadly consequences.
It is therefore essential that drivers get plenty of sleep before a long journey and they should drive during normal waking hours. To manage fatigue they should strictly consider the following:
— Take regular rest stops every couple of hours.
— Share the driving with other passengers.
— Eat light meals or fruits throughout the journey and drink water.
— If feeling tired during the trip, a nap of twenty to forty minutes is an effective way of reducing sleepiness.