Preventing Fatigue While Driving Is More Than Just Managing Your Work Time
A lot of focus is often put on hours behind the wheel as the number one contribution to driver fatigue. While here at Logmate we provide tools for drivers to manage their work and rest time we want drivers to know that there are also lots of other things they need to keep in mind when minimising their risk of Driver Fatigue.
Think of the driver work-time allowance like the speed limit. Sure on the motorway, you can legally drive at 100km/h. However, if you found yourself in a sudden downpour or the roads were icy would you keep going at that speed? My guess is no, you would most likely reduce your speed to stay safe, given the conditions.
Driver work-time allowances are the same.
Just because a driver can legally work up to 13 hours in a day doesn’t mean they should if they know they are fatigued. Driving fatigued not only puts the driver at risk but also any passengers they have or other road users.
However, we continue to see drivers making more risky choices with their decision to drive mostly due to the fact that their income is directly related to their hours on the road.
So in this article, we are going to talk about some strategies to reduce driver fatigue so that you can safely maximise your driving hours.
1. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is my number one tip to preventing the onset of fatigue. Water plays a vital role in making sure essential nutrients are transported to cells in your body and removing waste products. Since we lose water through sweat, urine and even just breathing we need to make sure we are replacing it adequately. Even the smallest amount of water loss can start to make you feel sluggish.
So how much water do you need to drink? The [Mayo Clinic]() has reported that men should consume 3.7 litres per day whereas women only need 2.7 litres. Interestingly 20% of this can come from water-rich fruit and vegetables.
So make sure you have a water bottle handy in your vehicle and sip on it throughout the day to make sure you are staying hydrated and energised.
2. Light Exercise
While heavy exercise can contribute to feeling fatigued light exercise can actually help prevent it. In fact, a study by the University of Georgia found that:
“sedentary people who regularly complained of fatigue increased their energy levels by 20% and decreased their fatigue by 65% by engaging in regular, low intensity exercise”
At it isn’t as hard as you might think. It could be as simple as getting out of your car during your lunch break at taking a 30min walk. The combination of a slightly, elevated heart rate, fresh air and movement of your body will overall make you feel refreshed and energised.
3. Get A Good Nights Sleep
We all know that getting a good night sleep is impactful on most areas of our life. But how much does it really effect us? It is recommended that an adult gets 8 hours of sleep per night; however, this can be slightly more or slightly less for some people. When you don’t get enough sleep for a single night you might just feel a bit sleepy; however, lack of sleep has a cumulative affect. If you continue to not get enough sleep feelings of fatigue will start to creep in.
Unfortunately, continued lack of sleep can also affect other areas of our overall health and wellness too including increased chances of diabetes and heart disease, unwanted weight gain and mental health disorders including depression and anxiety.
There is only one way to reverse the affect of lack of sleep and I’m sure you can guess what that is. To catch up on sleep. Now because of the cumulative affect of sleep deprivation over time it will take time to be able to catch back up on the sleep missed. This could mean increasing the hours you sleep each day for a week or even up to a month depending how sleep deprived you have been. However, the outcome of feeling fresher and not fatigued will be worth it.
4. Make Good Food Choices
What we put in our mouths has a huge impact on the state of our body and mind. Foods that are high in sugar can cause massive fluctuations in blood sugar. While you may feel energised for a period of time (while your blood sugar is high) you will quickly turn to feel lethargic and sluggish. The same goes for heavy starches or fatty meats. All of these foods contribute to weighing down both our body and our mind.
So instead why not go for some fresh fruit for a natural sugar boost, some high fibre protein for long lasting energy and snacks like nuts which provide a good fat source. You’ll feel focused and attentive to the road for longer periods of time and prevent the onset of fatigue.
Overall you should be thinking of alternative ways that you can reduce your levels of fatigue while driving rather than just the hours you are behind the wheel. Taking a holistic approach will not only allow you to drive for longer periods without feeling fatigued and therefore improve road safety for yourself and others, it will also just make you feel better in your everyday life.
Even just choosing one of the areas I’ve mentioned in this article and making it a priority will make a difference. And if you can do one successfully why not try another?
Before you know it you will be feeling healthier and happy which in turn will allow you to have more time on the road increasing the amount of money you could potentially earn while making roads safer.
In my eyes that is a win on so many levels.