Holidays are so exciting, but so horrible when they end because of a tragic accident. Driver fatigue effects young and old drivers and it can hit you even when you didn’t even think you were tired. It doesn’t really matter when it happens; it just matters that it does and people need to be ready for it.
It is such an uncomfortable feeling and impossible to break out of unless you stop the car and get out and refresh. Don’t fool yourself and think you can wake up whilst driving – you may think you are keeping on top of it, but it is definitely not safe enough.
However, the trick is it creeps up on you and we think: ‘Oh I’ll be okay I am nearly there.’ But you are not and your pre-set decision making self, needs to say: ‘Stop at the next safe stop and get out and move around and eat or drink something if possible.’
NSW Government, Transport for NSW, Centre for Road Safety, state on their website, that fatigue is one of the 3 biggest road killers and an accident involving fatigue almost always ends in a fatality. Something to try is: http://www.testyourtiredself.com.au./ I tried this test and it was really interesting and effective. It makes you realise how many factors affect your driving quality.
I must say, it is the strangest feeling and even though we know we are nodding off, sometimes we are too tired to make the right decision. Before the journey, let the passengers know about driver fatigue and that you may need their help. Even a little note on the dash board saying: ‘Are you getting tired? If so, STOP.’
We often have driver reviver stops in Australia and other signs reminding us of road safety, however, we can’t rely on these because they can’t cover all roads. Our driver reviver stops are great and such a positive initiate. Volunteers run them and provide tea and coffee for people needing a rest. Often all they ask is a gold coin donation.