Sunday, August 30, 2009

How your sleeping patterns affect your abilities as a driver

The rules of the road specifically state that it is illegal for a person to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Yet those same rules say nothing about the legality of driving a motor vehicle when you are sleep deprived. All it takes is one night's poor sleep in a bad bed and you are effectively too tired to control a car responsibly. In the U.S more than 40% of motor vehicle accidents are caused by drivers who are too tired to be allowed behind the wheel of their vehicles.Here are some symptoms you may be experiencing if your reactions are impaired and you are too tired to drive:- You yawn more than once per minute. This is due to a lack of oxygen when your breathing slows as you become more fatigued.- Each time you blink it's an effort to re-open your eyes and concentrate on the road ahead of you. Your brain is telling you that it wants to take a nap.- You miss a turning because you aren't paying attention to the road. This is even more dangerous when you miss a turning in an area that you know fairly well.- You suddenly realise that you can't remember the past 20 minutes in the car because your mind keeps wandering away from the task at hand. It's as if you have been on another planet and can't remember your car trip.- You drift across lanes or onto the rumble strips on the side of the road. This is another sign of a lack of concentration and a loss of some of your fine motor skills.If you have experienced any of these symptoms recently, there are a few things you can do to help protect yourself and other road users when you are taking a trip in the car.Take frequent breaks - Just because you can reach a destination in 3 hours doesn't mean you will be any worse off if you reach it in 3 hours 10 minutes. Take a break at least once an hour. This should include getting out of the car, taking a trip to a bathroom to wash your face and just getting some fresh air while giving your eyes a rest.Drink plenty of fluids - Keeping your hydration levels up on a long drive can help you stay awake and more alert. Don't overdue the caffeine drinks as they can make you jumpy and more likely to make erratic decisions while driving.Don't spend too long on the road - if your trip is likely to take more than 6 hours you should consider breaking it up over more than one day.Get plenty of sleep before taking a trip - As obvious as it sounds, many people don't get enough sleep the night before leaving on a long trip and put themselves, and others in danger because of it. Get a full nights sleep before you go on a trip and you'll have no problems staying awake for the duration of the journey.--The article pages of the largest UK online retailer of beds has added new and interesting pages to the site which examine people choice in beds, offers tips and advice to consumers who are interested in looking at new beds and bedroom furniture!Source:

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