Sleep is the only cure

WHAT do loud music, slapping yourself, freezing air conditioning and yelling at the top of your lungs all have in common?

Thumbs up if you guessed they're all commonly used by tired drivers to stay awake at the wheel and thumbs down if, like me, you've attempted any of them. 

The problem with driving fatigued, regardless of crazy stay-awake techniques, is that your reaction time and peripheral vision are affected well before your head starts to nod. Just being awake for 17 hours is the equivalent of driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.05%.

Seeing tired drivers on local roads is commonplace over the holidays. But put them on some of the state's most notorious stretches of road, the Bruce and Warrego Highways come to mind; at high speed and you have a recipe for disaster.

Unlike the other members of the 'fatal four', speed, alcohol and seatbelts, police are almost powerless when it comes to fatigue, yet tired drivers are one of the biggest killers on Queensland roads.

While some have called for laws banning driving while fatigued, RACQ believes enforcement would be impractical. How can you gauge tiredness, given it affects everyone differently?  

So forget the loud music or face slaps, the only cure for fatigue is sleep. And if you're driving long distances, make sure you take a 15-minute break every two hours. 

Topics:  motoring racq

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