Tiredness is a common denominator for all of us. Whether it’s work or a busy lifestyle, we do not ever get enough rest or sleep. Of course, an individual’s fitness level has a lot to do with handling tiredness, An overweight individual might get tired more frequently than a regular weight person. Often, if you’re overweight you’d face some form of extreme tiredness, which leads to micro-sleeps. So when it comes to driving, extreme tiredness or micro sleeps often bring about an accident.
Micro sleep is a short episode of drowsiness or sleep that could last a fraction of a second or up to 30 seconds. A car driving at 112 km/h will travel 31 meters per second, giving plenty of time to cause a serious crash during a micro sleep.
The effects of losing one or two hours of sleep a night on a regular basis can lead to chronic sleepiness over time. So ensure you are well rested and feeling fit and healthy before you set off.
Make sure you take regular rest breaks to split up the journey when driving on a long, boring stretch of a motorway. It’s good practice to stop at least every two hours and it’s essential to take a break before the drowsiness sets in. In Malaysia, this is especially important during festive break periods where there’s a massive transition out of the city. People from the city head back to their hometowns to celebrate with families and friends. If necessary, plan an overnight stop, especially when travelling cross country. If you feel too fatigued to carry on driving, then book yourself a motel or hotel at the next service station and sleep it off. Wake up fresh with a good breakfast, and carry on your journey. It’s good to note that a caffeine high may be a quick fix, but it is not a long term solution and certainly no substitute for proper sleep.
Fatigued after work
You’re bound to be tired after a full day at work, so avoid setting out on a long drive after you have finished for the day. It’s best to start your journey earlier on, and when you’re more alert. As a guide from research resources, avoid driving between the two peak times for sleepiness. These are between 3am – 5am and also between 2pm – 4pm.
When you’re on prescribed medication or have an ailment, seek advice from your doctor as to whether you should be driving or not. It’s risky to drive when you’re not able to focus 100 percent on the road.
SLEEP KEEPS MIND OVER MATTER ON DRIVING
Even the fittest of us need regular sleep to perform at our highest standards. Driving requires full concentration at all times and if you are tired, your ability to concentrate is reduced. Our internal body clock is usually set to deal with our normal lifestyle, extra care needs to be taken when driving during a time we would normally be at rest. Stop, rehydrate and rest if you need to.
Remember it’s your responsibility to ensure you’re fit to drive and can focus on the road a 100 percent. In other words, you don’t cause unnecessary risk to other motorists.