Wishing You Could Have Stayed in Bed a Bit Longer Today?
After some miserable weather to start the year, the sunshine and warmer days have been welcomed by most people!
However, for those spending most of the day at home or those who don’t have the luxury of air conditioning in their workplace, the heat can be exhausting. Coupled with higher temperatures at night making it difficult to sleep for the past few days, some people may be unaware of the risks of driving while tried.
A driver or rider who has fallen asleep cannot brake or swerve so unfortunately collisions tend to involve high speed impacts, often resulting in death or serious injury.
It may be difficult to avoid driving or riding if you rely on a vehicle to get home from work, but if you start feeling tired it is essential that you don’t continue your journey - even if home is just a couple more miles away. Stop, take a break and make sure you only start off again when you’re alert enough to do so.
Most methods drivers and riders use to try to keep themselves awake and alert on the road are ineffective and should only be regarded as emergency measures to allow time to find somewhere safe to stop.
Drinking at least 150 mg of caffeine and taking a nap of around 15 minutes are the only measures that help to reduce sleepiness, for a temporary period.
Collisions caused by tired drivers are most likely to happen:
- on long journeys on monotonous roads, such as motorways
- between 2am and 6am
- between 2pm and 4pm (especially after eating, or taking even one alcoholic drink)
- after having less sleep than normal
- if taking medicines that cause drowsiness
- after long working hours or on journeys home after long shifts, especially night shifts
Many people have opted for ‘staycations’ this year instead of their usual holiday abroad. As a result, a number of people may not be used to driving long distances across the country to reach their holiday destination.
As well as checking your vehicle is safe and roadworthy before leaving home, please make sure you plan your route to include regular rest breaks (at least 15 minutes every two hours) and if necessary plan an overnight stop if the distance is too much to reasonably travel in one day.
Road Safety Wales is reminding everyone that ignoring or underestimating the risks of continuing a journey when tired is naive and irresponsible.
Whether you’re travelling 2 miles or 200 miles, if you’re tired please be honest with yourself: stop and take a break.