On the tenth day of Christmas........before heading out on the highway this Festive Season, a few planning tips to ensure a safe journey

Posted on 18 December 2012

Surviving the Drive

If you are considering heading out on the roads this Festive Season, remember the “Stop, revive, survive” campaign message.

New research from the University of NSW shows that drivers’ refusal to acknowledge fatigue poses a great threat to themselves, their passengers and other road users. Professor Williamson said “'Fatigue is an active decision that people make, and it's an unsafe one. I think we're going to need bigger penalties for fatigue-related driving and crashes involving fatigue-related driving, simply because we don't have any other way of dealing with it."

During a 4 second micro-sleep where a car is travelling at 100km/ hr, the driver has actually travelled 111 meters  completely out of control.

The Roads and Maritime Services recorded 3329 fatigue related crashes in 2011. This number is double that of crashes involving alcohol.

NSW Police are planning to increase their visibility on the roads over the Festive Season in the hope of alerting drivers to their fatigue level.

Signs of fatigue include constant yawning, drifting over lanes, sore eyes, delayed reaction and varying driving speed.

If you are driving a long distance over the upcoming Christmas and New Year period, here are a few tips:

  • Plan your trip to included rest stops and share the driving where possible
  • Have a good night’s sleep prior to heading out on the road
  • When taking a break, get out of your car and walk around. Have something to eat and drink
  • Pull over as soon as you feel sleepy (power naps can help)
  • Avoid alcohol and medicines
  • Don’t drive at night if you can avoid it – your body thinks you should be sleeping.