Timely driving reminder from the Crocs Footy Club

ROAD SAFETY MESSAGE

Victoria Stone-Meadows

Journalist

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STAY SAFE: The Crocs' Brad Cooper (senior coach), Barry Lea (president), Darren Wall (board mamber), and Jesse Mawson (senior player) want you to make sure you know when to take a break from driving. Image: Victoria Stone-Meadows.
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The Port Douglas Crocs AFL Football Club is reminding everyone to pace themselves when driving and stay safe on the road this Christmas.

The Crocs’ Driver fatigue awareness program is especially relevant as many people jump in the car and drive long distances over the festive season.

Crocs President Barry Lea said it’s the responsibility of everyone on the road to ensure they are well rested and take regular breaks when driving.

“It’s especially important to be aware of driver fatigue with Queensland being such a big place,” Mr Lea said.

“We need to remember most places are not just an hour down the road; here in Port Douglas we are about 20 hours from the capital city.

“People often jump in the car and try to get up here or down there as quickly as possible but the consequences of driving when tired are just not worth it.”

According to the Department of Transport and Main Roads, an average of 31 people are killed and 462 seriously injured each year on Queensland roads as a result of crashes where fatigue played a part.

Medical studies have shown being awake for about 17 hours has a similar effect on driving performance as having a blood alcohol content of 0.05.

Mr Lea said people need to be aware of the signs of driver fatigue and how best to combat them to keep themselves and everyone else safe on the road.

“It’s so important that people know when it’s time to take a break from driving and to share the responsibility of driving on long trips where that’s possible,” he said. 


It’s important to recognise the warning signs of fatigue. You should stop driving if you are:

  • Drifting in the lane or over lane lines
  • Changing speed without reason
  • Yawning
  • Blinking more than usual
  • Notice your eyes closing for a moment or going out of focus
  • Feeling drowsy, tired or exhausted
  • Having trouble keeping your head up
  • Don’t remember the previous few minutes of driving
  • Experience slower reaction times
  • 'Microsleeping’.


Tips to avoid driving fatigued:

  • Before you drive, make sure you:
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Avoid driving at times you’re normally sleeping
  • Avoid long drives after a day’s work
  • Understand the effects any medicine you’re taking might affect your driving
  • Plan to include regular rest breaks on long trips
  • Know and look for the warning signs of fatigue
  • When possible, arrange to share the driving
  • When you know you’re fatigued, avoid driving altogether. Take a taxi, public transport or rely on another driver.

If you feel tired when driving, make sure you:

  • Pull over in a safe place (such as a rest area or ‘driver reviver’ site) and take a break or even a nap
  • When possible, share the driving.

 

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