Top ten tips to reduce Driver Fatigue – Postural Stability

  1. Keep your brain active
    Ever seen a driver admit fault?

    Keep your brain active. Stimulation

Top tips to reduce fatigue when driving

Get involved with your driving, love the road!!

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 to the minimum fuel consumption possible. How many km can you get out of the tank?

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.

Now, I don’t ever advocate breaking the law. But the 85th percentile rule clearly shows through research the safest speed for any given piece of road, is the speed most people would drive at, if there was no speed enforcement, however, we cannot do that.

What we can do is create the stimulation by giving ourselves tasks behind the wheel. 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 the reduction of fatigue-related accidents as a result.

Keep your brain active
fatigue can also be described as monotony in driving

Give yourself goals with your vision,

  1. how far ahead can you see and plan.
  2. Become the master strategist, monitoring traffic flow, cars and vehicles that stand out as a reference, anticipate the changing variables and incorporate into your driving
  3. How little of the car can you use? Use the fuel economy as a guide, check your steering wheel inputs. (the better your eyes are scanning, the simpler the steering wheel inputs) the better the driver, safer, prepared

Change the station

The radio can be your best friend on a road trip. Having satellite radio has kept my eyes open for hours on end while behind the wheel.  Everything from politics to comedy (not so different some days), old-time radio shows to the news. Find stations that engage you as a listener. 

Sing like you mean it

The car may be one of the only safe locations for me to burst into song.  the greatest compliment I had on my singing, was being told I was the perfect accompaniment for a goose, fluffing in the fog….. The windshield cracks only slightly as I belt out ZZ Tops greatest hits.

Or I listen to music I would never admit to…….Oh Mama Mia what a noise. Who could possibly sleep?

Spotify is awesome for random playlists and to me, they are the best way to drive.

Move your body

Air guitar, hand movements, tapping the feet, just be careful with Footloose and any Irish dancing (Michael flatly, talking to you 🙂  )

Movement creates blood flow. blood carries oxygen, oxygen means we are alert. Simples really

Remember, when the eyes are working, you have time, as you never get to the horizon. So you are prepared. Want to learn more?  Book in with Total Driver today for a course that will open your mind, let you love driving again

Audiobooks

Suspense to keep the blood flowing or comedy to have you laughing down the road. Whatever engages you in a story let a storyteller keep your attention. I love Bill Bryson’s hilarious travel stories. His Australian tale In A Sun Burned Country almost required me to pull over I laughed so hard. I also listen to Mentor box, where you can choose podcasts from the world’s most successful people, in any genre that is relevant to you.

Get some fresh air

We all love the airconditioning. However, airconditioning by nature of its operation dehydrates you. plus where is the fresh air coming from? Today’s modern cars seal so well, they have vents to release air pressure so you can close the doors, makes sense you could be breathing in the dirty air you expelled out??

Open the windows and breathe deeply. We live in an amazing country with an awesome climate, so why not appreciate the best that nature has to give you.

Remember it is all about getting fresh oxygen into your system

Look for the perfect photo

You can hear the rhetoric of government road safety campaigns “You must look at the road and concentrate, concentrate. blah blah blah blah” You know there is nothing that annoys me more than people spruiking things they know nothing about.

Driver fatigue, flow of information
A compromised window of information means all decisions are compromised, there is your driving behaviour.

Think of it this way. We have three fields of vision,

  1. Close
  2. Peripheral
  3. Tunnel

as we introduce apprehension, we create adrenalin and adrenalin is a fail-safe mechanism for our survival, think of caveman days, where the family needs to be protected from the bear. Worked perfectly well then. Not now.

What happens is by reinforcing the need or belief to concentrate, the adrenalin collapses our eyes to close vision (what you use to read with) this not only compromises the intake of information, it accelerates it. This causes excess fatigue, as our brains are working too hard. Now we have a compromised window of information, compromising every decision we make, so as a driver, we are compromised. There is your driving behaviour 101.

So, using logic and common sense, how do we teach people how to race cars?  How do they survive, if not thrive at high-speed environments, around other cars, where they are competing for sheep stations?  Eyes, they are taught to use their peripheral big picture vision. They are taught specific techniques, so their hands follow their eyes, so they can see, and most importantly, they then taught how to strategize based on the information they can now see.

So pick up your eyes, enjoy everything nature has provided. Even driving through the burnt-out forests of Australia recently, there was wonder, colour, so many things to see that I have never seen before. How quckly nature was growing back, not only recovering, but thriving.

Over the Bells line of road, which I always love driving, it is like driving on top of the world. I saw things, colours, contours, cliffs and rocks I had never seen, all because of the fires.

We are in the selfie age. No matter how boring a landscape may appear at first glance, a pretty picture is waiting to be discovered. Watch for a splash of color, a pond of water in the sunlight, clouds at sunrise or sunset, or a once in a lifetime scene if you are really fortunate.

So get your eyes up, look at the world in wonder, just like when you watch a child. Take it in with each breath you have.

Watch what you eat!!

I was watching game changes and they have found Beetroot gives athletes a 20% increase in performance, and they do not know why.

try nuts, sunflower seeds, stay away from the sugary foods and drinks and the heavy foods. Your body is working so hard to process them, that combined with fatigue you have already accumulated, and the monotony in driving if you are under stimulated is enough to send you to never-never land.

Frank Gardner, when I was working for him as a Performance Driving Coach, would talk about the different studies he had been involved in. One was for a transport company, where all the drivers were crashing within a particular stretch of road. What they found it was, the driers all had this favourite truck stop and the meals they were ordering, was causing them to nod off as they were driving. Simple solution, change the diet,  crashes stopped.

 

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