Updated: Jul 24, 2019
Did you know that more than one Australian will die every day, or 394 a year, from falling asleep at the wheel of a vehicle, or from industrial accidents, due to lack of sleep? Know the signs of drowsiness and stay safe on the road. Signs of Drowsiness
Eyes closing, frequent blinking, or trouble focusing
Trouble keeping your head up• Drifting between lanes, hitting a shoulder
Constant yawning, rubbing your eyes
Difficulty concentrating on driving, missing exits or traffic signs
If you are feeling sleepy or notice any of these signs stop driving immediately. The only cure for sleepiness is sleep. Tips for Staying Safe on the Road
Make sure you have had plenty of sleep before you leave. Less than six hours sleep in the prior 24 hours puts you at a significantly higher risk of a fatigue related accident that can result in death or serious injury.
Be aware of the effects of medications you are taking (some may increase drowsiness)
Plan to rest at least 15 minutes every 2 hours and don’t drive for more than 10 hours in a day.
Don't rush. It’s better to arrive at your destination safe than on time
Do not drink alcohol. Even very small amounts of alcohol will enhance drowsiness
Avoid driving when you’re supposed to be asleep eg: 1am and 6am, as this is a time when sleepiness is most intense
Do not rely on short-term remedies to offset the feelings of fatigue e.g., turning up music, drinking coffee/energy drinks etc. If you feel tired or notice signs of drowsiness pull over and take a short power nap. You can’t cheat sleep. The only way to reduce sleepiness is sleep.
Myths 1. Coffee/energy drinks help you stay awake.
FALSE. Drinks containing caffeine may help you feel more alert for a short time however they are not a substitute sleep. There is only one way to reduce sleepiness and that is sleep.
2. You know when you are going to fall asleep.
FALSE. In a test, nearly four-fifths of people said they could predict when they were about to fall asleep. They were wrong. If you’re drowsy, you can fall asleep and never even know it. You also cannot tell how long you’ve been asleep. When you’re driving, being asleep for even a second can kill you or someone else.
Click here to view and download the Sleepy Drivers Die brochure.