6 Ways You Know You Are Too Tired to DriveReading Time: 3 minutes
6 Ways You Know You Are Too Tired to Drive
Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of road accidents, and it can be the result of a variety of causes including overdriving, exhaustion from work, illness, and lack of sleep. Driving while fatigued, in fact, is akin to driving drunk. It is thus imperative that you know how to recognize when you are too tired to drive. Take note, though, that the manifestations of driver fatigue can be both physiological and psychological.
With those things in mind, here are 6 ways to know you are too tired to drive:
1. You feel sleepy and tired. People mistakenly think that feeling sleepy and tired is normal, but it is actually the first warning sign of driver fatigue. Once you feel this way, you are pretty much on the precipice of being too tired to drive.
2. Your mind wanders aimlessly. As mentioned, the manifestations of driver fatigue can be both physiological and psychological. When you’re tired, therefore, your mind will tend to wander off, sometimes to the point that you will either be totally oblivious to your environment or constantly unaware of where you are. Other times, you will have disconnected thoughts, with seemingly disparate pieces of information entering your mind.
3. You yawn frequently. People rarely pay attention to yawning, but you should. Your body employs various mechanisms to tell you that its tired, and yawning is one of these mechanisms. Simply, the more you yawn, the more fatigued you are.
4. You shut your eyes for a few seconds. When you’re tired, your eyes begin to get too heavy, forcing you to close them for a few seconds, or even longer in extreme cases of exhaustion. Once you find yourself closing your eyes for more than the average time of a quick blink, then it is best to just pull over, lest you fall asleep behind the wheel.
5. You swerve constantly. Swerving, even within your lane, means you either cannot see straight enough because your eyes are too tired or you cannot fully control the wheel because your muscles have been weakened. Erratic driving is a sure sign of fatigue and one of the biggest killers on the road.
6. You become easily irritable. A short fuse is another psychological manifestation of fatigue. When you find yourself going volcanic even at the slightest provocations or getting agitated at the smallest of things, then chances are you are too tired to drive.
Every driver must be aware of the dangers of driver fatigue and its manifestations. This knowledge, in particular, would greatly benefit drivers in both the transport sector and in the logistics industry, as they are most vulnerable to overdriving and driving while fatigued. Ride-sharing service Uber, in fact, has stepped up, barring their drivers from taking the wheel for more than 12 hours. To make sure drivers honor the time limit, Uber will automatically shut down a driver’s app once they have reached the 12-hour limit.
The government has also taken similar steps within the logistics industry through requiring trucks to be installed with Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). ELDs automatically record the Hours of Service of a truck driver. If the legal limit is close to being exceeded, the driver and fleet operator are alerted. This automated record-tracking system prevents cases of overdriving, which is notoriously rampant in the industry.
Ultimately, though, personal drivers, still constitute the bulk of the driving population, and they, too, can rely on similar technologies such as the app iOnRoad Augmented Driving. This app, available on iOS and Android warns drivers via audio and visuals (in real time) if their vehicle is operating dangerously (e.g., tailgating), which is yet another sign of fatigued driving. Additionally, there are now built-in vehicle technologies in most modern cars—blind spot detection, collision mitigation, lane-departure warning systems, and emergency brake assist—that can help tired drivers should the need ever arise.
Despite these innovations, driving while tired remains one of the biggest dangers on the road. So, it is best to just stop, take a much-needed respite, and get back on the wheel once you’re refreshed and ready.
Article specially produced for motoringessentialsguide.com
Contributed by SafeDrive_AC