Research suggests that almost 20% of crashes on major roads are sleep-related. We all know when we are feeling tired and studies have shown that we don’t usually fall asleep without a few warning signs.

Typical signs that you are at risk of tiredness and fatigue

  • Yawning
  • Rubbing your eyes
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Staring for longer periods of time
  • You have been at work or on the go for a long period of time
  • Driving between the hours of midnight and 6am

So how do we best manage this when driving?

Our cars are an extension to our homes and are familiar places where we feel safe and comfortable. Combine this with some nice music, the heater on, a monotonous journey, and you have a good recipe for your attention to lapse. So if you feel sleepy, what should you do?

Be self aware and recognise the warning signs. If you can’t stop:

  • Open a window
  • Put on some steering wheel-tapping music

If you can stop and take a break, then do it.

  • Consider your personal safety and the security of your car and park somewhere safe such as a service area or high street
  • Take a walk
  • Have some caffeine – but be aware this is only a short-term fix and won’t actually start to work for about 20 minutes
  • Take a 30-minute power nap in your car. Do make sure you are somewhere safe to do this and lock your doors. Set an alarm on your phone to wake you up again. Proper sleep is the best thing to help combat sleepiness.

Plan your breaks

Like a long day at work, you need to have rest breaks when driving, particularly on a long journey. 

Be aware of how you feel and ensure you know where you can stop before you even set off. Take a rest break of at least 15 minute every two hours.

This is just some of the advice Get Into Driving has to offer