Driving with a sleep condition can be far more dangerous than drink-driving.
As the cause of approximately 100,000 auto crashes each year, it is clear that more needs to be done to combat or spread awareness of the perils of driving when tired or living with a sleep condition such as OSA, narcolepsy or insomnia.
Unfortunately, many people are under the false impression that most accidents happen during the moments after a driver falls asleep at the wheel, but the dangers can actually occur long before this even happens. Drivers who have tired eyes, are sleep deprived or who are a little drowsy can end up making poor decisions or executing delayed reactions, putting not only themselves at risk, but everyone around them too.
How Do I Know If I Am Too Tired To Drive?
Of course, it is difficult to know if you are too tired to drive, but just be sensible. Some simple ways to tell that you are probably too tired to take the wheel include, but are not limited to:
- Frequent Yawning
- Not Being Able To Keep Your Eyes Open
- A Wandering Mind
- A Lack Of Focus On The Road
- Driving Too Close To Cars In Front
- Drifting Into Other Lanes
How Can I Prevent Myself Getting Tired On The Road?
If you begin to do any of the above while on the road, simply just stop and take a break. To avoid making these mistakes altogether, pay attention to the following before taking a seat:
- Get A Good Night’s Sleep
- Take A Nap
- Drink Some Caffeine (although this is a short term fix only to be used to treat mild fatigue)
- Split The Drive With Able Passengers
- Make Use Of An Alert Device
- Drive During The Day
There are plenty of other ways to prevent tiredness on the road, but just be sensible, as tiredness can kill. If you do suffer from a sleep condition, contact your GP who will be able to advise on the best practice for you.