According to the RSA it is estimated that driver fatigue is a contributory factor in as many as 1 in 5 driver deaths in Ireland each year.
At Transway Fleet Solutions we meet drivers every day of the week in our test centre and spare parts warehouse and we know how hard they work. It’s important too that we are all reminded of some basic advice when it comes to fighting the tiredness that accompanies the long hours we work.
How driver fatigue happens
One of the main causes is not having enough rest before starting out on a long journey. By doing this, drivers are at risk of nodding off while driving and are more likely to be involved in a crash. The crash itself is more likely to be fatal due to speed, high impact and the lack of avoidance action. Statistically motorists who drive for a living have a higher incidence of falling asleep at the wheel.
As part of a new campaign the RSA produced an advertisement that aims to raise awareness of the dangers of driver fatigue. The ad which provides drivers with advice on what to do if they feel sleepy while driving. If a driver fights sleep while driving, it’s the same as driving while over the drink drive limit. The message behind the ad is to recognise the signs that you are too tired to continue driving, and then Stop, Sip, Sleep – Stop the car in a safe place, Sip a caffeine drink, and Sleep for 15-20 minutes. This should enable you to continue driving for another hour or so.
The RSA have the following advice for tired drivers:
- Stop, park in a safe place and take a nap for 15 minutes (set your mobile phone alarm). This is the most important tactic.
- To really make the most of the break, take a caffeine drink before the nap (2 cups of coffee). After the nap, the caffeine should have started to take effect.
- Then get some fresh air and stretch your legs for a few minutes. By following all of the above advice you should be able to drive for another hour or so.
Many driver fatigue accidents happen in the early hours of the morning and even if the driver does not fall asleep, tiredness can be the cause of a driver’s reduced ability to respond quickly and safely in a dangerous situation.
If you are about to make a long road journey, ensure you are properly rested before you set off. Build in enough time into your day to take regular breaks. Avoid long drives between midnight and 6am if you can and avoid medicines that cause drowsiness.
We really like our customers and we don’t want to lose any of them due to road accidents. We are behind any initiative that may save lives, follow the expert advice and get home safe every time.