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Transcript of Driver Fatigue
Fatigue reduces your ability to spot hazards, it reduces your reaction time and leads to poor decision-making.
But it gets more serious - when you experience fatigue, you become less able to judge how tired you really are - so you miss the early symptoms and continue getting more drowsy. Research has identified two types of fatigue:
Fatigue experienced from the weariness of driving (during journey) is called ACUTE FATIGUE
Drowsiness from sleep loss prior to driving (before journey) is called CHRONIC FATIGUE. Some medication can cause drowsiness or increase its effects
Long distance air travel accross time zones causes a fatigue we call jet-lag
Working shifts or excessive hours can cause fatigue and disrupt natural rhythms
Alcohol and drugs can increase fatigue. Circadian Rhythm We all have an in-built 'body-clock' that determines when we feel sleepy - it's called the circadian rhythm and is influenced by many things including the hours of daylight and dark. The warning signs: frequent yawning head falling forward eyes closing reduced vision daydreaming loss of concentration arratic speed or following distance failure to observe lane wandering loss of memory of trip a 'near miss' situation Opening the window or listening to the radio are only temporary distractions - they don't cure the fatigue. take a break Get plenty of sleep before you leave home - don't start your journey fatigued. continues ... Plan your journey to include regular stops ...of at least Learn to recognize the driving situations which require 'full' concentration, such as town driving, cornering, overtaking and junctions. The one piece of feedback we repeatedly hear from people who drive around New Zealand on holiday is that they over-estimate the distance they can drive each day and wished they had driven less and seen more. The longer you spend doing a task such as driving, without a break, the greater the level of fatigue. Other tasks undertaken before you drive can increase the onset of fatigue. Once fatigue sets in,
there is little you can do, so... stop and Avoid driving when you would normally be sleeping - which includes not driving after a long flight. Put more than one driver on the Rental Agreement so you can share driving and swap frequently. If you need to take a short sleep, do not sleep for more than 30 minutes as you will wake feeling very tired. Have a flexible attitude to planning your journey. Play a game with other vehicle occupants involving music, trivia or observing the surroundings. 15 minutes more than 8 hours in a day (= about 6½ hours of driving) Avoid driving at dusk or at night
Eat at regular meal times, don't skip meals, and drink lots of water
Check all medications are 'non sedating' and avoid all alcohol
Avoid driving while jet-lagged. Do not plan to travel for You will learn the dangers of fatigued driving and how to identify INTERVENTIONS and COUNTERMEASURES to help you. As a visitor, arriving after a long flight, you are likely to experience BOTH forms of fatigue.