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Fatigue when driving

Countermeasures to driver tiredness include:

Before the drive:

  • Eat a balanced diet
  • 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.
  • 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
  • To relax, have a warm/bath or shower before bed
  • Exercise regularly, but not just before bedtime

On the road

  • Plan your journeys to include regular breaks at least every 2 hours.
  • If you are feeling tired STOP DRIVING
  • Park somewhere safe. Don’t park on the hard shoulder. If you’re on the motorway, take the next exit and find somewhere safe to park, or stop at the next motorway service area.
  • If necessary call someone to let them know you may be late
  • Have a couple of cups of strong coffee
  • Follow this up with a 15-20 minute nap

Caffeine takes about 20 minutes to take effect, so use this “window of opportunity” to have a short nap of no more than 15-20 minutes. If you sleep for much longer than 20 minutes you can fall into a deep sleep and wake up feeling groggy. Please make sure you lock the doors before settling down for your nap.