The danger of not being aware of the traffic conditions can cause an accident, rear-end collisions, road exits or frontal crashes as a result of a driver who was under the effects of fatigue or tiredness.
Experts advise not to drive for more than 5 hours at a time and the work code for bus and truck drivers advises them to stop every 2 hours to hydrate and walk to avoid fatigue and tiredness.
Effects of tiredness and sleep on driving
To drive, it is essential to be rested, because driving requires total attention, physical and mental effort. Tiredness influences the driver’s ability to be alert to drive safely; and, if you are tired and sleepy, the following occurs:
- Increases reaction time: This explains accidents such as rear-end collisions, when the vehicle in front brakes and you cannot react in time.
- Increases the number of distractions at the wheel: Sleepiness makes it difficult to concentrate on traffic. This is most dangerous when driving in a monotonous, low-traffic environment.
- The ability to make decisions behind the wheel and judgment are altered: With sleep, people take longer to make a decision and the possibility of risk increases because there is no coordination in estimating speeds.
- The psychomotor coordination worsens and the driver’s mobility is altered: The muscles relax causing slower and less precise movements.
- Micro dreams can occur: These are periods of a few seconds in which the driver, without realizing it, falls slightly asleep and unaware of what is happening around him.
- The perception of the environment is altered: Vision becomes blurred, it becomes more difficult to focus and eye fatigue may occur.
- Behavioral changes occur: The driver may become restless and more hostile to other road users.
Source: Fundación CEA