The DGT has foreseen that this Holy Week will take place 14.5 million trips. Many of these drivers must travel hundreds of kilometers to reach their destination, and begin their journey after leaving work, which can contribute to fatigue being a factor in numerous traffic accidents. On the other hand, the heat seems to have advanced this year, and with high temperatures the risk of suffering fatigue and dehydration increases.

Therefore, the Royal Automobile Club of Spain (RACE) and the National Association of Manufacturers of Refreshing Analcoholic Drinks (ANFABRA), insist this year on its traditional campaign "A soda, your best fuel" with the aim of preventing fatigue to the steering wheel, whose slogan aims to raise awareness among drivers about the need to follow a series of recommendations when picking up the car, how to prevent the onset of fatigue and its consequences, stopping the vehicle approximately every two hours, and dedicating these parentheses on the way to stretch and hydrate properly with a non-alcoholic beverage that, if it also contains sugar, it will provide enough glucose to maintain good brain activity.

The consequences of fatigue on driving

Very abundant meals, not enough rest, heat, dehydration or ingestion of alcohol, have a negative effect on the driver, decreasing their attention span and increasing the time it takes to react when an unexpected event arises. multiply the chances of having an accident. In fact, driver fatigue is the fourth cause of fatal traffic accidents in Spain.

It is very important to learn to identify symptoms in time of fatigue in order to prevent one of the most serious consequences of fatigue: that the driver gets to sleep. And, in a study conducted by the RACE and ANFABRA, no less than three quarters of the interviewees admitted to having suffered episodes of sleep while they were driving.

Among the symptoms that should warn of the increased risk of suffering a disaster include: malaise, itchy eyes, tearing or blurred vision, tingling in the extremities, restlessness, headache, concentration difficulties and to maintain attention, drowsiness, decrease in the ability to react, boredom ... These signs, in addition, become more frequent and intense as the driver's fatigue increases, and it is increasingly easy for a distraction of this to cause an accident.

How to prevent fatigue behind the wheel this Easter

  • Take the car only if you are well rested: the previous night he sleeps seven hours at least, and tries not to start the trip when leaving work; If this is essential, try at least to take a nap before and recover strength.
  • Check that the seat, the backrest and the headrest they are well regulated, and that the distance to the pedals and the height of the steering wheel adapt to your needs. This way you will avoid muscular discomfort, especially in long trips.
  • Drive with tranquility And without running, do not pretend to compensate for the time you have lost in a traffic jam.
  • It pays the same attention in short journeys as in long journeys, and do not let your guard down in the last kilometers, because many accidents happen at the end of the trip.
  • Take a break every two hours approximately, or earlier if you travel during the night, and spend a few moments walking and stretching.
  • Drink regularly to avoid dehydration, preferably sugary drinks (if you do not have it contraindicated) because a low level of sugar also causes fatigue and diminishes the attention capacity.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption. Even a drink with a low alcohol content increases reaction time, reduces alertness, alters visual and auditory capacity, and increases drowsiness and fatigue.

Source: RACE / ANFABRA

5 Tips To Stay Awake While Driving-Avoid Drowsy Driving (November 2019).