Fatigue behind the wheel kills

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Driving when tired can lead to impairment similar to being drunk. Fatigue kills behind the wheel as we were reminded by signs along the highway in Ontario during our summer road trip.  It is the third leading cause of death on the road. It’s a key factor in 1/5 accidents involving death or injury.

Fatigue is linked to a lack of sleep, but also to being behind the wheel for too long a stretch. Like any other repetitive task, we lose our concentration and begin to get tired. Other causes of fatigue, especially for the growing number using e-readers, is the glow of the blue light on handheld devices. The light disrupts sleep patterns leading to tiredness.

Please consider taking regular breaks when driving long distances. If you are suddenly feeling tired,

  • pull over at a safe place like a picnic area, mall, or rest area
  • let someone else drive for a while. If you are alone, get out of your car and walk around
  • if necessary take a nap

The province of Quebec has a good fact sheet on fatigue with plenty of tips.