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Driving when tired

If you’re on a long drive on your own, or with family or friends, always stop if you feel sleepy. Crashes happen easily when you’re tired.

Before a long drive, get plenty of rest. Share the driving if you can. If possible, drive during the day. It’s less tiring.

Signs of tiredness include: 

  • constant yawning
  • drifting over lanes
  • sore eyes
  • trouble keeping your head upright
  • delayed reactions
  • day dreaming
  • difficulty remembering the last few kilometres
  • changing speed without noticing.

Get out of the car, stretch, have some food or a drink. This will help for a short time, but you'll probably feel tired again soon. The best cure for sleepiness is sleep.

Don’t rush, and take plenty of breaks.

  • Don't start a long trip at a time when you would usually be sleeping or late in the afternoon. Get a good night’s sleep before starting your trip.
  • Research has shown that not sleeping for more than 17 hours has an effect on driving ability the same as a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.05. Not sleeping for 24 hours has the same effect of having a BAC of 0.10, double the legal limit.