Avoid holiday fatigue

Plan and pace yourself
Travel is inherently dangerous, however, cramming festivities and long hours on the road can lead to perilous situations.
Yochanaan Coetzee
This year, plans for Easter weekend may definitely be different. Tough money times, record fuel prices and an overarching air of exhaustion may see many families forgoing a far-off egg hunt to relax at home, spend time with their loved ones and take the true meaning of the holiday to heart.

Others may have to restrict their travels to the four-day long weekend only. As a result, many drivers may be much more vulnerable to fatigued driving. According to MasterDrive CEO Eugene Herbert, there are a few things drivers can do to prevent driving while tired. “The first - and most ideal - step is to be selective about your travels when you have a time limit. Avoid travelling too far within a short space of time and placing unnecessary pressure on yourself. Rather stay close to home so that you drive refreshed and fully alert and return home without needing a holiday from your holiday.”

Other tips include:

Plan your trip to select the best route.

Schedule regular breaks and be aware of any driving conditions that can increase fatigue such as long stretches with road works.

Pack nutritious snacks that supply a consistent source of energy and avoid food that can result in energy slumps.

Ensure you get a good night’s rest before you leave.

Share driving duties with someone else in the vehicle and ensure you swap drivers or take a break as soon as you feel drowsy.

If stimulants such as coffee help keep you stay alert, make use of these, but with the cognisance that they can also cause a slump in energy after a certain amount of time.

Make sure children are adequately entertained so that they do not distract you and increase fatigue levels.

If you are driving alone and you suddenly feel drowsy, it is better to stop for 20 minutes - if there is a safe spot to do so - and rest. This can be a quick nap, if that normally helps you, or taking the opportunity to stretch your legs. Continuing to drive through the drowsiness can be very dangerous.

If the cold weather persists, be careful of overheating the interior of the car and ensure fresh air is circulating.

Ultimately, every driver knows what works best for them when staying refreshed and alert.

“Make sure you undertake these measures If you are travelling this Easter weekend and, particularly, if you are limited to four days. It is a mistake to ignore your drowsiness as it can have tragic consequences for many. Do not become a statistic this Easter; do not make yourself vulnerable to fatigued driving,” Herbert said.

– Adapted from motorpress.com