Do you know you're four times more likely to have a fatal fatigue crash if you're driving between 10pm and dawn?
That's because your body's circadian rhythms are programming you to sleep. Driving while sleep deprived, especially late at night and at dawn, increases the risk of having a 'microsleep' and losing control of your vehicle. If you fall into a microsleep and nod off at 100 km/h, you'll travel 100 metres in just a four seconds, unconscious.
In 2014, fatigue was the second highest contributing factor for crashes in North Sydney representing 6.3%, which was higher than the five year average (2010-2014) of 5.7%. Most crashes involving fatigue occurred in the 30-39 year age group with 3.6% followed closely with the 21-25 year age group with 3.2%.
The best way to prevent driver fatigue is to make sure you have enough sleep before driving, regardless of the length of your trip.
The best way to avoid a fatal fatigue crash while driving is to recognise the early warning signs.
Below are some of those early warning signs:
- Poor concentration
- Tired eyes
- Slow reactions
Below are some Tips on avoiding fatigue-related accidents:
- Get a good night's sleep before commencing a long trip;
- Do not drive at times when you would normally be asleep;
- Avoid long drives after work;
- Take regular breaks from driving (use Rest areas);
- Share the driving whenever possible;
- Pull over and stop when drowsiness, discomfort or loss of concentration occurs;
- Find out whether any medicine you are taking may affect your driving.
Watch the Centre for Road Safety's campaign video - Don't Trust Your Tired Self