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Driving Tired? Safety Tips for Fighting Driver Fatigue

Fighting driver fatigue

Symptoms and causes of driver fatigue

Are you planning on hitting the road for a vacation getaway? Did you know that driver fatigue is one of the greatest contributors to death on Australian roads. In fact, it is considered as one of the three big killers on New South Wales (NSW) roads, along with speeding and drink driving, according to NSW Centre for Road Safety.

Fatigue can severely impair judgment and can affect anyone. It is particularly dangerous because one of the symptoms is decreased ability to judge our own level of tiredness.

Many motorists don't realise they are too tired to drive until they fall asleep at the wheel. Symptoms vary between drivers, but may include the following:

Sleepy tired fatigued yawning exhausted woman driving her car

  • Constant yawning
  • Head nodding
  • Rubbing your eyes
  • Daydreaming and wandering thoughts
  • Poor concentration
  • Tired or sore eyes
  • Restlessness
  • Drowsiness
  • Slow reactions
  • Boredom
  • Feeling irritable
  • Making fewer and larger steering corrections
  • Missing road signs
  • Drifting in the lane
  • Having difficulty in staying in the lane
  • Micro-sleeps

Remember that if you experience any of these symptoms, it is possible that your driving ability is already impaired.

Planning by drivers is the key to avoiding fatigue. Make sure you are not feeling too tired before hitting the road. Furthermore, drivers should ensure that:

  • They have sufficient sleep before the trip
  • Plan ahead – work out rest stops and overnight stops before you start
  • Get away from the wheel – stop for at least 15 minutes every two hours or 100 miles
  • Share the driving whenever possible

Bushells Driver Reviver Program

Bushells Driver Reviver sites open right across Australia in some 220 locations. The Driver Reviver Program is supported by both Government and community.

They offer a free snack, a cup of Bushells Tea or a coffee. Local volunteers are on hand to offer advice about road conditions, places of interest and places to stay.