Tips for Fighting Fatigue While Driving

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With the warm weather here contractors are working later and families are taking frequent vacations. With these extended activities comes the drive home and after a full day of hard work and play comes unsafe driving fatigue. Being aware of driving fatigue could make a difference of getting home safe and having a potential accident. Below are symptoms and steps to take to combat driving fatigue.

Recognize the signs

When driving, you should be aware of the signs of fatigue and take the necessary safety measures to avoid it. This includes the following:

  • Restlessness—Squirming in your seat, stretching, eye rubbing, cracking the knuckles

  • Experiencing short lapses of attention—As fatigue sets in, you pay less attention to the instrument panel and rear/side view mirrors.

  • Staring ahead, appearing to be in a trance—You’re less responsive at the wheel, change speed erratically, weave back and forth, and even cross the center line or drift off the road entirely. At this stage, you are a hazard to yourself as well as others.

Often fatigue may also produce a mental state that will trick you into believing you are driving safely. When tired, drivers often imagine conditions that do not exist. A reaction to some imaginary condition may be disastrous.

Learn to recognize the signs of fatigue, follow all safe driving practices and get the appropriate rest required to safely operate a motor vehicle. Should you become too tired, pull off the road and take a break.


Arrive Alive

Tips for arriving at your destination safely

  • Do not operate a vehicle while tired, ill or with any other condition that makes your driving ability less than 100 percent.

  • Do not operate a vehicle beyond the hours of service limitations developed by the Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety.

  • Make frequent rest stops. Any activity which substitutes a different physical act for the monotony of driving helps refresh a driver.

  • Fatigue comes on very suddenly. When it hits, a driver should not wait to get off the road before falling asleep. A fatigued driver should pull well off the road and take an extended rest break.

  • Do not use alcohol or drugs of any kind, at any time. Anti-sleep drugs may increase alertness for a short period. However, their use is often followed by headaches, dizziness, agitation or irritability, decreased power of concentration and the onset of extreme fatigue. In addition, some cold and flu medications cause marked drowsiness, so it is important to read the labels before you purchase them.

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