Who is most at risk?
People with sleep disorders such as Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea
Shiftworkers,long distance truck drivers
What are the warning signs?
? Sleepiness,Eyes closing or going out of focus
? Trouble keeping the head up
? Cannot stop yawning
? Wandering thoughts, difficulty concentrating on driving
? Cannot remember driving the past few kilometres
? Drifting between lanes, off the road or miss signs
? Very heavy eyelids
? Slow blinking
TIPS to prevent drowsy driving
1. Make sure you have had plenty of sleep the night before. Most accidents happen when you have had less than 6 hours sleep.
2. If you have to drive for long periods of time, try to take a short power nap.
3. A buddy system is a great idea and works well – share the driving and share keeping each other awake.
4. Have a break every two hours, get out of the car and walk around for a few minutes.
5. Don’t rely on coffee, loud music, open windows or passengers to keep you awake.
6. If the warning signs are there, you should stop driving and take a break.
How long should a “power nap” be?
A short nap may refresh you enough to continue driving for another couple of hours. Pull over to a quiet spot, put the seat back and take a nap of about 15-20 minutes, no longer. After your nap get out of the car, walk around for 5 minutes and then drive on. Be aware of the signs of drowsiness and avoid the temptation to go just that little bit further.
Does caffeine help?
Caffeine does offer some short term help with alertness which may help for an hour or two. Sugar is not helpful and can make you sleepier after 30-90 minutes than if you had no sugar.