Driving while drowsy is believed to cause approximately twenty percent of all road fatalities. Most of these fatigue-related automobile accidents typically occur during the late night hours. Additionally, the more fatigued the driver was at the time of the accident, resulted in a more severe crash. Fatigue accounts for approximately one-third of all single-vehicle accidents in rural areas.
Many people think that fatigue-related automobile accidents are only an issue for long distance drivers; however, fatigue can also cause accidents when you are traveling only short distances. Usually, these accidents are due to those who have been driving for hours, those who do shift work, those who suffer from sleep apnoea, those who have not got enough sleep and those who participate in physically demanding roles. When you need sleep, chemicals begin to build up in the brain until you fall asleep. If you are in charge of an HGV, this is bad news. HgvTrainingCentre.co.uk have put together this guide on how to stay alert.
Get An Ample Amount of Sleep
The first thing you should do is make sure that you are getting enough sleep. If you are not sleeping well or getting enough sleep, you will suffer from daytime fatigue. The amount of sleep that you need can differ. Some people only need five hours of sleep, other may need seven, eight or nine hours of sleep to feel rested, alert and refreshed. You must determine the amount of sleep that allows you to function at its best and seek to get that amount of sleep each night. When you get a full night’s sleep, your brain will have the time it needs to recuperate, rest and recharge, which will help you remain alert while you are driving.
You also need to make sure you take plenty of rest periods along your journey to help keep you alert.
What you eat can affect your sleep cycles. Unfortunately, a driver does not always eat a healthy diet. Eating healthy and remaining hydrated will improve your sleep quality, increase energy levels and leave you feeling good throughout the day. For best results, make sure that you are eating fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and high fibre food. In addition to this, you should drink plenty of water to help keep fatigue at bay.
One of the most common causes of fatigue is that professional drivers often drive when they would normally be sleeping. The human body has deeply ingrained sleep patterns, which are very difficult to readjust. If you struggle with adjusting your sleep patterns, you should consider driving only during the day. Similarly, if you are a night owl and find that early morning driving is causing fatigue, seek to switch to a night shift. Listening to your circadian rhythms will help prevent HGV fatigue and lower the risk of an automobile accident.
Visit Your Doctor
If you constantly feel fatigued, after ensuring you are eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and following your natural sleep patterns, it is time to visit your physician. There are several different medical conditions that can contribute to increased fatigue levels. If these medical conditions are not kept under control, your fatigue levels can become so great that they affect your ability to drive safely when you are behind the wheel. Sleep disorders like sleep apnoea interfere with the body’s ability to get a restful night’s sleep, which can further exacerbate daytime fatigue. Other causes of daytime fatigue include chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, fibromyalgia and certain medications. If you are struggling to stay awake and are experiencing fatigue, it is essential that you speak with a professional.
When you suffer from a lack of sleep, you will begin to feel fatigued. It is essential that you remember that you cannot fight fatigue and that sooner or later, your body will force you to go to sleep. This can result in dangerous fatigue driving and increase the risk of an automobile accident.