Helpful Tips To Avoid Driver Fatigue On Vacation
Its that time of year again when many of us are getting ready for that long awaited vacation, and making plans for a road trip. As a previous long haul trucker and driving instructor, I thought I would pass on a few helpful Tips to Avoid Driver Fatigue. We all want to get to our holiday destination as quick as we can, but we must be aware of the signals of fatigue when behind the wheel.
Did you know that driver fatigue is a major contributing factor in at least 20 percent of all automobile crashes worldwide?
Getting Proper Sleep Is Priority One
So, youre all packed and ready to head off on that road trip vacation, but are you really prepared and ready for those long hours of driving ahead, especially if you are traveling with loved ones?
Taking a road trip holiday is exciting, no matter what mode of transportation you choose. Discovering new sites and attractions along the way is half the fun, but whether you travel by car, motorcycle, recreational vehicle or any other mode of transportation, you must take the necessary steps to ensure you and your family will be safe at all times.
Sleep experts suggest that most people do require between seven and nine hours of sleep each day. This amount is needed in order to be able to function fully during the course of the day, and to carry out everyday tasks. Such as work, driving, exercise and any other daily activities that we perform on a daily basis.
The quality of our sleep that we get is equally important as well.
Try to schedule and plan your trip ahead which will allow the driver to get a good night’s sleep before heading off. Ideally, having another person along that can share driving responsibilities is excellent. If this is not possible, then be aware of the warning signs of driver fatigue.
These signs include…
Blinking Your Eyes More Often;
Forgetting the Last Stretch of Road Just Driven;
Slowing for No Reason;
Drifting the Vehicle in Your Lane.
These are just a few of the warning signs to be aware of and if you do experience any such signs, pull the vehicle over immediately when safe to do so and stop driving!
Be Sure To Take Frequent Rest Stops
When driving, do take regular rest intervals at least every couple of hours. Step from the vehicle, relax and get some exercise if possible. This will definitely help refresh and revitalize you for the next part of your journey!
If you do need to rest during your trip, cat naps or short twenty to forty minutes of sleep can do wonders for reducing sleepiness and making you feel more refreshed.
When I was driving long-haul commercial transport truck, I always made sure to have regular short pit stops along the way. I always tried to get out and stretch and revitalize myself as often as I could.
Many times I would take short 30 minute cat naps, which I found extremely beneficial and recharged my batteries to continue on.
Try Not To Eat Unhealthy Fatty Foods
Try not to eat heavy fatty meals when driving, as we all know how tired we feel after eating a full meal. Try to keep meals light and nutritious with lots of fruit if possible. Lighter meals and good hydration will all help keep you alert and feeling better as well.
Drinking lots of water is also important and definitely helps reduce overall fatigue.
Taking these few precautions will ensure you and your family have a safe and happy holiday! For those of you traveling in your recreational vehicles, check out my recent post on RV Safety Driving Tips.
Remember, getting there is half the fun!
Be sure to get out and enjoy the sites along the way at specific viewpoints, attractions and so many more places. Do a little research, stop at tourist information centers and see what may be of interest as you make your to your final destination.
We are always discovering new and exciting places on our road trips and so can you!
Below, I’ve add a link to Road Safety At Work, a WorkSafeBC website in my home Province of British Columbia. Their goal is to eliminate work-related motor vehicle crashes, deaths and injuries in British Columbia – Canada. I’ve included the link to their page on Driver Fatique, which is another good read on the subject.
Safe and Healthy Travels!
“It Takes About Half An Ounce Of Gasoline To Start The Average North American Sized Automobile.”
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