Many accidents have been caused by driver fatigue/ driver tiredness. There are many myths about driver tiredness and how energy drinks and innovative techniques might be able to enhance the safety of the driver.
Which measures would increase our chances of avoiding driver tiredness? I have found information on effective measures on the Arrive Alive website:
It is a driver’s legal responsibility to ensure that he or she is fit to drive and has had sufficient sleep before commencing work. There are a number of common sense lifestyle adjustments that you can make to improve sleep and general well being.
• Eat a balanced diet
Driving for a living can make it difficult to access healthy food. Drivers are typically at work or asleep when shops are open. As a consequence, drivers tend to eat high sugar and high fat meals from road houses or vending machines. Night drivers may also face additional dietary problems because they eat at night when food is digested less efficiently.
The poor diet and sedentary lifestyle of many drivers means that this group has a high incidence of obesity and gastrointestinal complaints such as stomach ulcers. To avoid these problems drivers need to ensure that they have eaten a healthy meal before beginning a shift and that they have access to a healthy meal during their shift. Drivers should particularly avoid food and drinks high in sugar, such as chocolate, as these give you a temporary sugar-rush and then leave you feeling sluggish. A more sustained and healthier source of energy can be found in complex carbohydrates such as bread or cereals.
• Don’t go to bed too full or too hungry
Indigestion and hunger pains are obviously not going to help you sleep.
• Avoid caffeine/ alcohol before bed
While you might be able to fall asleep soon after caffeine or alcohol, both of these substances will alter the structure of your sleep. Research has shown that even one glass of wine or cup of coffee with dinner influences the quality of your sleep.
• To relax, have a warm/bath or shower before bed
Many people who have difficulty getting to sleep simply don’t take the time to relax or wind down before they climb into bed. A warm bath or shower will not only help you get in the mood for sleep, but research has shown that we fall asleep more quickly if we warm up cold hands and feet. Listening to quiet music or some gentle stretching will help to relax both the mind and body and promote sleep.
• Exercise regularly, but not just before bedtime
Most of us are aware of the benefits of exercise, but did you know that exercise can improve your sleep? It is important that you don’t exercise just before sleep though as the adrenalin released during exercise can make it difficult to get to sleep.
Even with the best preparation possible, there will be times when you might have problems maintaining alertness behind the wheel. In these situations the best short-term advice is:
If you are feeling tired STOP DRIVING
View the Arrive Alive website for info on: