Cops tired of drowsy drivers

May 16, 2018

Driver Reviver stop run by murchison SES.

OUR police have seen enough horror smashes on the roads caused by fatigue.

So they know driving tired is just as dangerous and deadly as drunk and drug driving.

And just as avoidable.

‘‘Drowsy driving is preventable. All you have to do is take a break,’’ Leading Senior Constable Kris Sutton of Campaspe Highway Patrol said.

‘‘People always think they can make it and push through drowsiness, but you can’t fight sleep.’’

It is a message the TAC agrees with.

All day, sleep-inducing chemicals build up in your brain and eventually reach a tipping point, sending you off to sleep. This can happen any time and anywhere, it says.

The best way to avoid drowsy driving is to get a good night’s sleep.

If you’re already behind the wheel when you start to feel drowsy, Snr Constable Sutton said the best remedy was to pull over and have a 15-minute powernap.

‘‘Also plan a break ahead, swap drivers and don’t drive during times which you would normally sleep,’’ he said.

Snr Constable Sutton said 16-20 per cent of crashes were caused by fatigue.

‘‘We have had quite a few crashes caused by fatigue as Echuca is at the end of a lot of people’s trips so they may have already been on the road for several hours,’’ he said.

‘‘When we speak to people who have fallen asleep at the wheel, they can’t recall the moments prior to the collision.

‘‘When you’re in that situation, most collisions are serious or life-threatening. And the trauma not only affects you, but other road users.’’

Snr Constable Sutton said some signs you’re already drowsy include winding down the window or turning up the radio to stay awake — neither of which would help.

‘‘Psychological signs include heavy eyelids and trouble keeping your head up,’’ he said.

‘‘If you are sleepy, you are likely to drift lanes and miss give way and stop signs.

‘‘The best thing to do is to pull over and have a powernap. It could save your life.’’

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