This year, Easter weekend does not fall during the school holidays. Consequently, many families may have to restrict their travels to the four-day long weekend only.
As a result, many drivers may be much more vulnerable to fatigued driving.
There are a few things that drivers can do to prevent driving while tired. The first, and most ideal, step is to be selective about your travels, when you have a time limit. Avoid travelling too far within a short space of time and placing unnecessary pressure on yourself.
Rather stay close to home so that you drive refreshed and fully alert and return home without needing a holiday from your holiday.
Other tips include:
- Plan your trip to select the best route, schedule regular breaks and to be aware of any driving conditions that can increase fatigue such as long stretches with road works.
- Pack nutritious snacks that supply a consistent source of energy and avoid food that can result in energy slumps.
- Ensure you get a good night’s rest before you leave.
- Share driving duties with someone else in the vehicle and ensure you swap drivers or take a break as soon as you feel drowsy.
- If stimulants such as coffee help keep you stay alert, make use of these but with the cognisance that they can also cause a slump in energy after a certain amount of time after consuming them.
- Make sure children are adequately entertained so that they do not only distract you but also increase fatigue levels.
- If you are driving alone and you suddenly feel drowsy, it is better to stop for 20 minutes, if there is a safe spot to do so, and rest. This can be a quick nap, if that normally helps you, or taking the opportunity to stretch your legs. Continuing to drive through the drowsiness can be very dangerous.
Ultimately, every driver knows what works best for them when staying refreshed and alert. Make sure you undertake these measures If you are travelling this Easter weekend and, particularly, if you are limited to four days. It is a mistake to ignore your drowsiness as it can have tragic consequences for many. Do not become a statistic this Easter not making yourself vulnerable to fatigued driving.
Eugene Herbert is the CEO of South Africa-based MasterDrive.
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