Driver Fatigue How to Manage
Driver Fatigue is listed as one of the fatal five (which is actually 7) As we constantly state, no one person hops into a car to crash, yet we do it with monotonous regularity.
In this article, Driver Fatigue How to manage, you will learn we can reduce our driver fatigue levels by over 30% with a few techniques.
Did you know driver fatigue is up by over 90% in the last five years. Indeed the Road Toll on the Gold Coast alone has doubled since the same time last year. In fact the road toll has doubled compared to the same time next year.
“Autonomous vehicles promise benefits in lives saved on the road, congestion in cities, and time spent on commutes. But if you’re hoping that, 5 years from now, you will be able to nap while your self-driving car takes you to work, you’ll likely be disappointed, don’t worry, despite all the humbug it is still at least 25 years away..
The challenge for Autonomous technology and lawmakers is that Fatigue is also really described as monotony in driving. And when traveling in an autonomous vehicle the driver is always in control and responsible, regardless of the level of automation.
They have the same problem in the airline industry with Pilots. Everything is great until something goes wrong and it is the time taken for the Pilot to “Switch On” that is the difference between an incident and a crash.
Learn More about psychology and driving with autonomous vehicles.
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Driver Fatigue how to manage.
So how do we address fatigue in our driving to “Switch On” and stay alive. It requires a number of strategies, from how you sit, that makes you part of the car, controlling apprehension and adrenalin, to raising and moving the eyes around to the horizon, this means it takes longer to reach your reference point, which slows down the intake of information, reducing stress, and driver fatigue.
CREATE a fatigue management plan
- Most important is how you sit in a car. Every student in a Total Driver program, the first thing we focus on is postural Stability.
Just by how your hands are placed on the steering wheel, will reduce your fatigue by up to 30%.
Don’t believe me, try using the demonstration of holding a glass of water.
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?” Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz. She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”
So when your hands are high on the steering wheel, this is the problem, you are holding your arms up, for sometimes hours at a time.
So bring your hands down to halfway position on the steering wheel, treat it like a balance bar at the gym.
Now to make this work, you need balance in your posture, how you sit in the car. It is called Postural Stability and believe it or not, it even goes to how your feet are positioned on the floor and with the pedals.
2. Driver fatigue: Vision, slow down the intake of information.
Our second big safe Driving tip – Driver Fatigue is on our vision. Vision is imperative, unfortunately, everything we want to do, is the exact opposite of what we need to do as a driver and as for our vision, this is exactly what is wrong.
We all have three fields of vision, close, peripheral and tunnel. When we are walking and we see a threat, we focus on this, collapsing our big picture peripheral and our long distance tunnel to revert to our close vision.
Works perfectly in our natural environment of walking and running and unfortunately is in direct conflict with our created environment as a driver, as we introduce speed, and our brains cannot process speed.
So what happens, is we become reactive in our driving, constantly trying to keep up with everything that has happened, instead of being in front and controlling what we create. It is a learnt skill.
We will learn more about this next month. How to look and what to see is imperative. What will surprise you is that everything we want to do, what we want to see, happens to be the exact opposite of what we need to so and see, as there is nothing natural about the art of driving
It is a learned skill.
So our natural process reduces the field of view, accelerates the window of information and causes our eyes, to tell us lies.
This, of course accelerates information, increasing fatigue and engineers the crash we are about to create.
3. Driver Fatigue: keep your brain active.
Keep your brain active. Too often we will use the cruise control so we don’t get booked speeding. Instead, practice driving without it, anticipate the hills and use the trip computer to run tot he minimum fuel consumption possible.
With each impending rise, ease on the accelerator, so the engine feels charged and full of energy, lifting the accelerator before the crest of the hill.
A radio station once won an award for introducing a quiz at night to keep the truck drivers engaged and entertained, there was a direct correlation in reduction of fatigue related accidents as a result.
4. Driver Fatigue, keep your body active.
Stretch, do some abs, Crunches in your seat as your drive by just flexing your stomach muscles,
Flex your feet, stretch your legs. Get our of the car and even have a walk around in some of our amazing rest stops.
See part of what is happening is that you need to re oxygenate your blood. This is especially activated when doing exercise. .
So stretch, do some walking, running on the spot, or get your Yoga on with a dirty dog. sorry, Downward dog.
5. Driver Fatigue: Watch what you eat.
Years ago there was a study done on truck accidents and what they found was most interesting, the majority were after dinner at a truck stop and involved heavy greasy food, roasts etc.
So eat lite, fresh fruit, veges, food that is easy to digest. Stay away from the heavy meals.
6. Driver Fatigue: Hydrate
The air-conditioning dehydrates the air, which is why it is so good and demisting the windows on humid days, as a by-product, it also dehydrates you. So keep drinking water and lots of it.
Stay away from energy drinks, the sugar spike will always be hit with a sugar crash.
7. Driver Fatigue: spot the early warning signs.