Tired while driving? Check out these 5 essential on-road tips

Safety is paramount when taking a road trip.

Hitting the road for a break is an Australian institution. We love to travel. And when taking a road trip, safety is paramount.

One thing that can impact this safety is driving while tired. Driver fatigue contributes to around 20% of road crashes in Victoria alone.

If you’re feeling restless, bored, or finding it hard to concentrate, you could be fatigued.

With than in mind, we have put together these important safe-driving tips in partnership with the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) that can help prevent driving while drowsy.

Because when we wish you safe travels, we mean it.

1. Get enough good, quality sleep before driving

Think of sleep like money. If you don’t get adequate sleep, you go into ‘debt’, essentially ‘owing’ yourself more sleep. Simply put, the only way to repay this debt is to get some shuteye. Whether your impending journey is long or short, it pays to spend quality time in Dreamland. On average, adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

2. Plan your trip and take breaks

Regular stops help to reduce the effects of fatigue, so mapping out your road trip is imperative. The TAC advises that you take a break at least once every two hours and swap drivers if possible. Relax and enjoy the journey, because there are no prizes for getting there the quickest. 

TAC's Driver Reviver stops are a great way to stretch your legs, have a coffee and re-energise yourself for the drive ahead.

3. Avoid driving late at night and very early in the morning

It makes sense that we are at our driving peak after a good night’s sleep. This is when we are often at our most productive in day-to-day activities, so it’s no different when it comes to driving. Therefore, the TAC advises you to avoid driving late at night or early in the morning when, typically, you would be asleep.

4. Use Driver Reviver stops if they are available

Use Driver Reviver stops if they are available to enjoy a free coffee, a stretch of the legs, and fun activities for the kids. Break can help to re-energise you, therefore reducing your chances of becoming drowsy while behind the wheel. In absence of a Driver Reviver station, stop for a break in a town or rest area along the way.

If there's no Driver Reviver station around, stop for a break or a coffee in town or at a rest area along the way.

5. Take a power nap

Research indicates that even a small sleep or powernap of just 15min can significantly reduce your chances of a fatigue-induced accident. And 15min is a small sacrifice to make for what should lay ahead: a BIG4 break with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Remember: once you are tired, the only cure is sleep.


For more information about avoiding driver fatigue, visit Towards Zero.

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