While many people are aware and aware of how dangerous it is to drink and drive, they do not know enough or ignore the fact that tired and sleepless driving is just as dangerous as drinking and driving and is one of the most important causes of accidents. However, sleepless negatively affects driving performance and causes car accidents with catastrophic injuries, just as it does under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Symptoms of failure and sleeping while driving
There are simple signs of fatigue and sleepless while driving. These,
- tingling of the eyes,
- tension in the neck,
- back pains,
- difficulty keeping head upright,
- difficulty focusing the eyes on a particular point,
- skipping or not remembering traffic signs.
Factors affecting driver failure
For what reasons do drivers, especially commercial vehicle, and heavy vehicle drivers, get behind the wheel tired and sleepless? When the research in this field is examined, it is seen that the factors related to sleepless driving are grouped under four main groups.
- Time: At what times of the day and for how long the vehicle is used is seen as the most basic factor that determines fatigue and sleepless. According to the research findings, when the vehicle is used for more than 8-9 hours, serious problems due to fatigue and distraction begin, driving performance is adversely affected and the risk of accident increases significantly. It is observed that especially truck drivers are more prone to accidents related to fatigue and sleepless.
- Lack of sleep or not getting enough sleep before driving: studies show that, in general, because of being without sleep for more than 16 hours, significant deterioration in driving performance begins and serious dangers begin in terms of traffic safety. In a study, it was found that the drivers who caused the accident had a shorter sleep time before the accident than the other drivers involved in the same accident.
- Sleep disorder: sleep disorders due to various health problems (such as sleep apnoea syndrome and narcolepsy), which are more common in heavy vehicle drivers, cause drivers to fall asleep while driving and pose serious dangers in terms of traffic safety.
- Environmental factors: The monotony of the roads, the lack of cautionary measures, the unfavourable climatic conditions, or the lack of facilities or resting places that will allow drivers to take rest and sleep breaks when they need it can be counted among the important factors that increase fatigue.
Effects of sleeplessness on performance
Sleepless is one of the most important causes of accidents, as it negatively affects the performance of people, which is critical for safe driving.
The effects identified in laboratory and in-vehicle studies are as follows:
- slower reaction time
- reduced general attention
- defect in information processing
Who makes the most driving mistakes due to sleepless?
- Drivers who drive for a long time without rest, especially heavy vehicle drivers
- Frequent night travellers
- People with sleep disorders (disorders that cause excessive daytime sleepiness such as chronic insomnia, narcolepsy, or sleep apnoea)
- People who use drowsiness or drive under the influence of alcohol
- Those who work on a shift system
Precautions and recommendations to be taken
The measures to be taken against sleepless and tired driving are either aimed directly at not driving without sleep or to correct the situation after insomnia occurs. Preventing insomnia by getting enough sleep is both easier and more effective than any compensatory measure. The effects of the measures taken after sleep does not last long. It can be most effective for long enough for drivers to find a place to sleep.
Temporary measures such as caffeine intake, listening to the radio, getting out of the vehicle, and taking a short walk, opening the window, etc. should never replace a good sleep habit and should not be perceived as effective strategies to ensure that sleepless drivers arrive safely at their destination.
Precautions that drivers can take
- Treating diseases that cause insomnia,
- Good planning of time to get enough sleep,
- Not drinking alcohol while drowsy, even below the legal limit,
- Avoiding driving as much as possible between 12 o’clock at night and 6 o’clock in the morning.
- Taking rest breaks at regular intervals while driving for a long time, not driving more than 8-9 hours a day on average.
- If you feel tired and sleepless, stop driving and sleep in a suitable place until you get enough sleep.
- Taking a short sleep break before continuing the road.
No matter how many precautions you have taken, there is always the risk of an accident. If you don’t know what to do legally after the accident, or if you want to know what your rights are, you can contact car accident lawyers in Perth.