Tired? Don’t Take The Risk

We are spending more and more time in our cars and we are making much longer journeys too.  Regardless of destination, it is easy to become tired along the way and whilst you may not believe it will ever happen to you, falling asleep behind the wheel is more common than you might believe.

Of course it isn’t just a simple matter that feeling tired means you need to sleep.  It could be a sign of something much more sinister.  There was an article in Germany which went viral recently, where a man had a stroke whilst driving and his car was out of control on the autobahn.  A fellow road user took the initiative to use his Tesla as a way of bringing the car to a controlled stop.  This resulted in £10,000 of damage, Elon Musk insisting Tesla cover the costs and most importantly of all, no loss of life.  

If you find you are tired more often than you should be, then get yourself to the doctor and have a check up.  It could be a symptom of something a little more serious.  

So, how can you prevent yourself from falling asleep at the wheel?  You may have heard lots of advice on drinking coffee, knocking back a Red Bull, eating a sugary snack and even sticking your head out of the window.  However the best way to avoid calling your car accident attorney is to simply stop driving.  Granted, this may mean you are late for a meeting or you miss a flight, but if you are so tired that you can’t concentrate on driving then you are probably going to be less than useful in your meeting anyway and yes, holidays are great, but if you are dead you won’t even care that you missed your flight.  Do not take the risk.  Find a safe spot, pull over and take a nap.  Even just 20 minutes can help.  Make whatever calls you need to and if you have to make excuses, do it.  But for goodness sake sleep.

Avoiding this problem altogether is by far the greatest solution.  A huge number of us are not getting enough quality sleep at night.  Either through choice or chance.  There are ways you can improve the quality of your sleep and help give yourself enough energy to last right the way through the day.

Set a strong bedtime routine.  The same time every night.  Experts suggest that 10pm is the perfect time for our bodies to switch off and enable us to reach the deepest sleep possible.  Try to avoid alcohol, especially during the week when you are commuting.  Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day and make sure you are eating a healthy balanced diet.  Too many sugary foods will play havoc with your blood sugars which can lead to increased tiredness.

Staying safe on the road and keeping other road users safe, should be your primary concern.  So take tiredness seriously.  It could kill you.

Emily Muelford
Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.