Before you drive, make sure you:
- get a good night’s sleep
- avoid driving at times you’re normally sleeping
- avoid long drives after a day’s work
- understand the effects any medicine you’re taking might affect your driving
- plan to include regular rest breaks on long trips – at least 15 minutes every 2 hours
- avoid driving for longer than 10 hours in one day
- know and look for the warning signs of fatigue
- when possible, arrange to share the driving
- when you know you’re fatigued, avoid driving altogether. Take a taxi, public transport or rely on another driver.
2. Recognise the warning signs
It’s important to recognise the warning signs of fatigue. You should stop driving if you:
- drift in the lane or over lane lines
- are changing speed without reason
- are yawning
- are blinking more than usual
- notice your eyes closing for a moment or going out of focus
- feel drowsy, tired or exhausted
- have trouble keeping your head up
- don’t remember the previous few minutes of driving
- experience slower reaction times
- are ‘microsleeping’.
3. Take active steps when fatigue hits
If you feel tired when driving, make sure you:
- pull over in a safe place (such as a rest area or ‘driver reviver’ site) and take a break or even a nap
- when possible, share the driving.
Beware that sleep is the only way to relieve tiredness. Caffeine, fresh air and loud music won’t stop you from being tired. These temporary fixes can give false confidence, telling you that you’re okay to continue driving, when you’re actually not.
Driving tired quick quiz
Are your eyes open to the dangers of fatigue? Take this quick quiz and test your knowledge.