Fatigue is tiredness, weariness or exhaustion. You can be fatigued enough for it to impair your driving long before you ‘nod off’ at the wheel – which is an extreme form of fatigue.


Who is affected by fatigue?
Everyone is likely to experience fatigue to some degree while driving, but fatigue is more likely for:

  • young people
  • shift workers
  • people with sleep disorders.


How fatigue affects you

  • Slower reactions
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Poor risk judgment
  • Excessive speed changes
  • Centre-line drift


Fatigue warning signs
If you’re driving and notice any of the following warning signs, it’s important that you pull over and take a break. The best option is to set a timer or alarm and have a 15 minute nap before driving further.

  • Restlessness
  • Blinking frequently
  • Yawning
  • Breaking too late
  • Forgetting last kilometers
  • Drowsiness


Tips on avoiding fatigue

  • Prioritise sleep – make sure you get enough sleep regularly
  • Snack lightly – choose light, fresh food. Avoid fatty, sugary or carbohydrate-filled options
  • Take a break – take a break from driving at least every two hours
  • Power nap – nap for no more than 20 minutes for best effect
  • Drive at natural times – drive during times that you’re usually awake
  • Stay hydrated – drinking water helps keep you alert
  • Check your medication – be sure they won’t affect your alertness on the road
  • Share the driving – swap drivers if possible
  • Avoid alcohol – any alcohol at all will increase your risk, so avoid it

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