Many factors play an important role in getting you safely to your driving destination, and averting car accidents. Fatigue, is a temporary condition that affects every driver from time to time. Your body has a built in Circadian Rhythm, that causes nearly everyone to be less alert or drowsy during the hours of 1 and 5pm. Many times it’s associated with long-distance driving, but it can set in after a long day at the office or a day at the beach. Recognizing the signs of your body’s rhythm is what is important.
If you’re under emotional stress or bored, you may become more fatigued. Sun glare, a major cause in eyestrain, can cause us to become drowsy drivers. Wear sun glasses when you drive during the day, it helps keep the light reflection to a minimum. If you’re driving on a road with not billboards or little traffic, no traffic-control devices, your mental alertness drops. Under these circumstances, you are more likely to nod or doze off more than if you were driving on a demanding road, with intersections and traffic signals. Falling asleep or nodding is reported to cause 200,000 crashes annually. What can you do to fight fatigue? Avoid heavy foods and alcoholic beverages. Be aware of your own body’s physiological down time. (Circadian Rhythm). Take advantage of Rest stops, get out and walk around or rest. Keep an adequate flow of fresh air in your vehicle. setting your air-conditioner temperature too low, or having your heat set too high induces fatigue. If you must stop for rest, it’s not a good idea to sleep in a vehicle alongside the road. If yo have no choice, make sure your care is as far off the highway as possible. Lock all your doors. Turn on your parking lights, and turn everything else off. This is a last resort, the best option is to switch drivers or stop at a rest stop.
Remember, strong emotions affect your ability to think or reason. An upset or distracted driver, may look directly at a stop light or sign, and drive straight through it. Unpleasant emotions ( fear, hate, anger, anxiety, frustration and grief) are contagious, and may cause road rage because of your reactions behind the wheel as a driver. Delay driving when you’re upset. That’s all there is to it. Unwind, or ask someone else to drive for you.
One last thing to say is if you are feeling ill, with a flu or hay fever allergies, migraine headaches or a toothache, they may affect your vision and often they are accompanied with dizziness, nausea or pain. Any of these conditions make it difficult to concentrate on driving, and affect your timing, judgment and decision-making abilities. If you are on medicine read the labels carefully. Many say delay driving until you know the effects of the drug. These are all simple strategies to reduce your risk while driving and help you and others arrive at the destinations safely.