Tiredness is one of the major causes of road crashes making driving while sleepy as dangerous as speeding, or driving under the influence of alcohol.
In recent years fatigue has been considered a primary contributory factor in road crashes. Fatigue-related crashes are often more severe than other crashes as drivers’ reaction times are often delayed or drivers have not employed any crash avoidance manoeuvres. Yet still, many drivers believe they can push through the symptoms.
There are common myths about driver fatigue, but they are easily busted by the facts.
Sleep is the only cure for tiredness. If you find yourself starting to rely on caffeine and other distractions to keep you awake, you need to stop and rest, or change your plans.
Loss of concentration and delayed reactions are just as fatal on a short trip as a long one. A significant number of fatigue-related crashes happen within 25km of the start of a journey.
Even as little as two hours less sleep than usual on just one night can affect your reaction time, mental functioning, memory, mood and alertness.
Here's a few things you can do to stay on top of driver fatigue.