Fit to drive? Are you Tired?

Are you fit to drive?

Sometimes you can take something which could affect whether you are fit to drive.

https://www.gov.uk/health-conditions-and-driving

They can be prescriptions / shop-bought drugs / recreational/illegal drugs even alcohol.

Fit to driveI’m sure we recognise the fact that some of the drugs the Doctor prescribe affect our driving. If we are not sure we should ask the pharmacist.

How many of us realise that some of the drugs we buy over the counter can also affect us? They can make us sleepy which could result in us having an accident. We should always look at the labels of the product to make sure it is safe if we plan to drive.

Recreational Drugs

However, there are the Recreation Drugs which are also not sold in the general shops. That people take to give them a boost a high or some other form of pleasure. These tend to be illegal & should not be taken or used on any account while driving. They might not seem to affect us, but medical data show they do influence us. Some are illegal so if you are stopped while using them the police can enforce fines & prison sentences. Depending on the severity of what happened when you were stopped.

There are also drivers which seem to be accepted more readily but they are taking a drug that affects their driving Alcohol. I know the law says you can have a certain amount of alcohol in your blood or on your breath. But the overall effect is that it will affect your driving. So, I would strongly advise the policy of no alcohol if you are planning to drive.

https://www.gov.uk/drug-driving-law

Some of the effect to consider personal wellbeing and are your fitness to drive.

Here are some of the short term or long-term personal that can affect your fitness to drive.

Your physical condition such as colds, fever, bad sight, medical difficulties such as bad back or loss of a limb)

Eyesight you must be able to read a normal number plate (with glasses or contact lenses if you need to wear them). It should have letters of 79.4mm (3.1 inches) at 20.5 meters (67 feet).

If you are planning on going for a drive it is worth considering whether your physical or mental wellbeing will affect your driving. For example, if you have a cold, we recognise our thinking can become “woolly”. Resulting in being involved in an accident because we did not react fast enough. Some people have to wear glasses if we have the wrong prescription, we might not see problems & also cause accidents. Unfortunately, some of the severe medical can affect our driving especially if they involve the use of prescription drugs.

Emotional state

Sometimes if we drive after an argument, in a rush to go somewhere you might not be fit to drive.

These problems I would call mental problems that can lead to accidents. For example, we. re running late for an appointment, and not concentration on driving properly, so get involved in an accident. Another problem could be the fact we’ve had an argument and are distracted so we’re not concentrating on our driving. I know this isn’t a reason in itself not to drive but needs to be considered before driving. An idea would be to give yourself more time to get to your destination. So you can concentrate on any danger when driving rather than the problems you’ve got on your mind. It is always better to be a few minutes late rather than not get there at all.

Tiredness

Lack of sleep reduces the ability to make decisions correctly and safely can creep up on us while driving. If we are tired before we get into the car or get tired while driving, will you be fit to drive?

There are several methods to give SHORT TERM relief the best treatment is sleep.

Here are some facts you should know about excessive sleepiness/tiredness and driving.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@motor/documents/digitalasset/dg_065252.pdf

  • driving tired
    driving tired
    There is no excuse for falling asleep at the wheel and it is not an excuse in law.
  • Up to 1/5 of accidents on motorways and other monotonous types of roads may be caused by drivers falling asleep.
  • 18 – 30-year-old males are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel when driving late at night.
  • Modern lifestyles like early morning starts, shift work, late-night socialising, often lead to excessive tiredness by preventing adequate rest.
  • All drivers who fall asleep at the wheel have a degree of warning.
  • Natural sleepiness/tiredness occurs after eating a large meal.
  • Changes in body rhythm produce a natural increased tendency to sleep at two parts of the day:
  • Midnight – 6 am and 2 pm – 4 pm
  • Prescribed or over-the-counter medication can cause sleepiness as a side effect. Always check the label, if you intend to drive.

Before you start your journey is your car fit to drive

http://think.direct.gov.uk/assets/pdf/dg_195268.pdf :

  • Plan your journey to include a 15-minutes break every two hours of driving
  • Make sure you are fit to drive have a good night’s sleep before setting out on a long journey
  • Remember the risks if you have to get up unusually early to start your trip. Or have a long drive home after a full day’s work
  • Avoid making long trips between midnight-6am and 2-4 pm when natural alertness is low
  • Even a small amount of alcohol, with some medicines and drugs, can make you drowsy. Remember you can be in danger of falling asleep at the wheel.

When you are on your journey:

  • Take a 15-minute break every two hours of driving
  • Share the driving if possible
  • If you start to feel sleepy find a safe place to stop (not the hard shoulder of a motorway) as soon as possible
  • Ideally, you need proper sleep but an effective emergency countermeasure to help you get to a safe place. Where you can get proper sleep is the combination of two cups of strong coffee or high caffeine drink and a nap. Caffeine takes about 20 minutes to take effect this is the time for a short nap. This countermeasure should allow you to continue driving but only for a short time. You do not fall asleep suddenly without any warning. If you are yawning or having difficulty concentrating, you are at risk of falling asleep at the wheel. The only effective cure is to sleep. Opening the window for fresh air, turning up the radio or taking exercise will do little to prevent you from falling asleep.

Don’t leave it until it is too late.

Difficulty keeping your eyes open, your head nodding and your vehicle drifting out of lane are no warning signs of tiredness. They are symptoms of microsleep. You need to stop long before you get to this point you might not be fit to drive. A more reliable early warning of tiredness is repeated yawning. When this starts you will need to get off the road and find somewhere to sleep properly. The only real cure for sleepiness is proper sleep. A caffeine drink and a 20-minute nap is a short-term solution only. It cannot be repeated over a long period. If you fall asleep at the wheel you risk killing yourself, your passengers, and others who become innocent victims. Every year to avoid driving tired please read the tips below to ensure you have a safe journey.

https://www.gov.uk/sleepiness-and-driving

Consider alternatives!

This is something that people tend not to consider when driving. We think we MUST do something regardless of the consequences. If the consequence could result in, you are having an accident or even killing someone. Would it not be worth thinking about what you could do to prevent this from happening?

For instance, change the medication, or give yourself time to calm down after an argument, You could even stop for a few minutes to calm down before driving again after you have become overstressed.

Try not to use illegal drugs or drink before driving as this will impair your ability to drive. If you are tired, consider having a sleep before driving or drive the following day. I know that this might not be possible. I am trying to give you the heads up as to how things can affect your driving. Also, how you could become a safer driver by considering these ideas.

Old and Disabled

(HC 216) Remember that the old and disabled are likely to be slower in reacting to the different road situation. So give them time and allow them a chance to react to a situation when driving.

old age

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