Sleep is one of the worst things that can happen to a driver on the road, and the DGT says that sleepiness is directly or partly to blame for between 15% and 30% of traffic accidents on the roads.
Not only do the effects of sleep show up at night, but there are also a lot of crashes during the day, especially in jobs where people spend a lot of time behind the wheel.
Factors that favor the onset of sleep
When you fall asleep at the wheel, you won’t be able to respond until it’s too late. This is different from other risky driving situations where you still have some control of the car. The following are the main things that cause tiredness to show up:
- The best times to fall asleep are early in the morning and early in the afternoon.
- Stimulation from the surroundings and how active a driver is: Boring environments make people sleepy. You can stay busy while moving by listening to the radio or talking to other people.
- Different drivers have different habits. Some people wake up early and feel better in the morning, while others feel best in the late afternoon.
- Continuously being awake: The longer you’ve been awake, the easier it is to get sleepy, which makes it dangerous to drive.
Tricks to not fall asleep while driving
The figures show that if you haven’t slept enough, your chances of getting into an accident go up by five, and if you’ve slept for less than four hours, your chances of getting into an accident go up by as much as eleven. To prevent this kind of accident as much as possible, drivers can follow these 5 tips:
- Avoid long trips, especially if you are not used to them or if they happen at night.
- Take a 20- or 30-minute break every two hours of driving or every 200 kilometers. If the weather makes it look like you’re tired (rain, fog), you should stop more often.
- Make sure the car has enough air flow and that the air vents are facing the body and arms and not the eyes.
- When you have to drive, don’t eat a lot or drink booze, and be careful about how much coffee or energy drinks you drink, as they can cause a rebound effect.
- Try not to listen to music that calms you down. If you want to stay busy, it’s better to have a quiet chat with someone.