You won’t believe the tactics some drivers use to fight sleep

Fatigue is more than feeling drowsy, grumpy or sleepy – it’s deadly and is currently the cause of up to 20 percent of fatal crashes on Queensland roads.

RACQ recently asked motorists what they do to combat fatigue on long journeys – with coffee, loud music and window the windows down were some of the common responses.

RACQ’s Lauren Ritchie said there were some alarming responses.

“One driver touted the benefits of the ‘one-eye method’ – staring out of his left eye until it became tired, then opening his right. Another told us she trapped her pony tail in the window, so it would yank her head and wake her should she nod off at the wheel,” Ms Ritchie said.

Ms Ritchie said it was concerning many motorists thought they could fight fatigue with quick fixes.

“Being tired impedes your driving performance and concentration so much it’s like driving drunk,” she said.

“If you haven’t slept for 17 hours, that’s like having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05. To put that into an everyday scenario, if you woke up at 6am to go to work, then went out for dinner and were driving home at 11pm, that’s 17 hours.”

Ms Ritchie said motorists who drank coffee or put the windows down to stay alert while driving should ‘wake up’ to the dangers.

“There is only one real solution for fatigue and that is sleep,” she said.

“If you’re feeling drowsy, pull over and take a break. Pause from driving every two hours and if you’re on a long journey, don’t drive more than eight to 10 hours in a 24 hour period. It could save a life.”