Driver fatigue can have horrific consequences when you’re in charge of a car, motorbike or heavy goods vehicle. Tiredness causes around 20 per cent of road traffic accidents on UK roads every year, according to the Department for Transport. If you’re planning a long journey or you’re getting ready to go on holiday in the UK, here are some tips to help you plan ahead and avoid fatigue.
Before you go
Before you head off on a long journey, start planning in advance, get yourself sorted and packed and then get an early night. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and plan your route, so you know where you’re going, roughly how long it should take and where the service stations are located.
Prepare your vehicle by checking the tyres, topping up the engine oil and screen wash and filling up the tank.
When you are driving
When you are on the roads, take regular stops, have a walk around and stretch your legs and get some fresh air. Keep well hydrated and aim to stop for at least 15 minutes every 2-3 hours.
If you feel tired, don’t attempt to continue driving; find a safe place to stop, pull over and have a short rest. Have a caffeinated drink, open the windows and stop for 15 minutes; this will give you time for the caffeine to kick in and take effect. If you start driving again and you still feel tired, pull over and have a sleep. Sleep is the only real cure for tiredness and drinking energy drinks and putting loud music on will only serve as temporary measures. Tiredness will affect your judgement and control as well as reducing your reaction time, increasing the risk of a car crash.
When to leave
At busy times, such as the Easter holidays, it can be tempting to get up at the crack of dawn or leave late at night to avoid the traffic, but it’s advisable to avoid driving at times when you are likely to feel tired, as this could increase the risk of a road accident. If you do plan to leave early in the morning, try to ensure you get to bed early.
I’ve been injured in an accident, what can I do?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, which wasn’t your fault, seek medical attention, note down the contact and insurance details of the other driver and take photographs of the incident scene and any crash injuries you sustained. Contact the personal injury specialists at Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 for no-win no-fee* advice about making a road traffic accident claim.
Date Published: April 27, 2015
Author: Accident Advice