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How to Avoid the Risk of Tiredness While on the Road

How to Avoid the Risk of Tiredness While on the Road

​We’ve all been there. It’s been a long drive back from an unforgettable weekend, but it’s taking its toll on you. Regular signs appear on motorways explaining that “tiredness kills, take a break”, yet many motorists don’t take enough notice of these important advice messages. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has conducted research which shows that driver fatigue may be a contributory factor in up to 20% of road accident, and up to one quarter of fatal and serious accidents in the UK.

As a means of combatting fatigue in drivers today, scientists have recently developed a blood testing regime which could help police identity suspected drowsy drivers in road traffic accidents, or assist an employers judge as to whether an employee’s fitness to drive is up to scratch. The test can identify whether a driver has skipped a night’s sleep using a machine learning algorithm with 92% accuracy. As much as we all think that a little bit less sleep for the odd night during the week won’t affect our performance during the day too much, think again.

According to the latest research conduced by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers who have as little as one to two hours less than the recommended daily allowance of sleep in a 24-hour period nearly double their risk for a car crash. Drowsy driving is extremely dangerous because sleep deprivation can have similar effects on your body as drinking alcohol.

The first signs of fatigue when driving may include tingling eyes, stiffness in neck, shoulders, back and the constant need to change position. At the onset of fatigue, it is recommended to take a break at the earliest convenience, no matter how close you are to your destination. A good framework to adopt is to have a mandatory break from the wheel every two hours. Finding a nice service station to grab a invigorating latte can hit the spot to give you that extra boost to get home safely.

Next time you’re preparing for a long journey, remember these crucial safety checks along the way, and just think, it’s worth arriving home safely than rushing back for your favourite TV programme! You can always record it and watch it at a later stage!

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