Most drivers will admit that they have driven their cars whilst feeling tired, in fact some of us do it every day! Joking aside, anyone who has driven when extremely tired is putting themselves and others at risk of a serious accident.
Thousands of accidents every year are caused by drivers who are so tired that they either fall asleep at the wheel or make a basic driving error due to loss of concentration. Fatigue related accidents also tend to be serious because the drivers inability to avoid hazards when travelling at speed means that the impact velocity is higher, resulting in severe damage to the vehicle or vehicles involved.
In order to drive a vehicle safely on the road, you need to be alert, observant and quick thinking. Tiredness can affect all of these faculties, and will turn any safe driver into a potential road hazard.
How do I know if I'm too tired to drive?
Tiredness or fatigue affects our ability to concentrate and slows down our reaction times. This will show itself in many ways - heavy eyelids, yawning, sore eyes etc. If you are driving you may find that you start to drift out of your lane, or you don't notice that the car in front is braking until it's almost too late. Either one of these scenarios could mean that you cause a serious accident and end up injuring yourself and possibly others.
When is this likely to happen?
Anyone who drives as part of their job, is statistically more likely to have an accident due to tiredness at the wheel than other drivers. There are however particular times of the day when the incidence of tiredness related accidents tend to increase.
Anyone driving early in the morning or in the middle of the afternoon is more likely to have a fatigue relocated accident. It can also be more likely to occur on long straight stretches of road or motorway where the driver has fewer driving decisions to make over long periods of time. Driving on a winding country road is more likely to keep you alert because it demands more concentration.
How to avoid having a tiredness related accident
There are number of things you can do to help you stay alert and awake when you are driving.
If you need to make a long journey, get plenty of sleep beforehand, or if possible share the driving with someone else
Try to avoid driving in the early hours of the morning, the body is conditioned to sleep at this time and so you are more likely to feel drowsy
If you have to make a long journey, take a break at least every couple of hours and have a cup of tea or coffee
Should you start feeling drowsy when you are driving, open a window and get some fresh air, or turn on some music. When you get an opportunity, stop somewhere for a break or a nap
If you have been involved in a car accident that was not your fault we can arrange for your car to be repaired at one of our approved repair centres, and provide you with a quality comparable replacement hire car.
Please give us a call us on 0845 6768898 or start your claim enquiry using our online claim form.