Falling asleep at the wheel may sound impossible for people who do not have much experience driving.  The feeling of fatigue causes the driver to feel drowsy which ultimately affects their attention on the road.Driver Fatigue

This results in a slow reaction time that makes it hard to control the vehicle, which increases the chances of a crash. Here at Drive4Life Academy, we are dedicated to giving you information that will help keep you safe on the road.

What exactly causes fatigue?

Here are things that could make you fall asleep at the wheel:

Lack of sleep

Unfortunately, sometimes lack of sleep may be unavoidable due to various disruptions of life. For example, if there is a newborn baby, you may struggle with getting enough sleep for the first couple of months, and this sudden change in your sleep pattern may result in fatigue.


Your body may naturally start feeling tired if you are still awake between 2 am and 6 am. In the afternoon at around 2 pm to 4pm, your level of concentration may diminish especially after an extensive busy morning, causing you to feel tired.

Driving for long periods

Driving for more than two hours non-stop lowers the level of concentration in your mind, which makes you prone to a delayed response to hazardous encounters on the road. We recommend that you take short breaks after every two hours.

Other factors

Other things that may contribute to fatigue when driving include:

  • Stress
  • Intentional change of sleeping patterns (due to work shifts)
  • Vehicle engineering (modern automatic vehicles are very comfortable and relaxing)
  • Medication

Legislation on fatigue

Although proving that an accident occurred because of fatigue can be a hard task, there are police investigations and penalties for death caused by fatigue driving.

Anyone found guilty of causing an accident because of fatigue may be charged with death by dangerous driving (if the driving conditions are perceived to be dangerous), or death by careless driving ( a minor charge compared to dangerous driving).

The maximum penalty for death caused by dangerous driving is 14 years and 5 years for careless driving.

How to avoid fatigue when driving

  • Drinking caffeinated drinks – energy drinks or coffee will keep you awake and alert while on the road
  • Breaks within the journey- people planning to travel long distances should relax after every two hours of continuous driving.
  • Having enough rest- if you are about to embark on a long journey driving, ensure you have enough rest beforehand.

UK Driving Laws 2018As a learner driver, all the different laws can be very intimidating but fret not. Whether you are looking for driving lessons in Gillingham or elsewhere, this post will be sure to keep you clued up on the current laws! 

Checking that your vehicle is safe to drive 

One of the most important things that you need to do before driving is checking your vehicle is safe to drive. A vehicle can still be unsafe even with an up to date MOT. Every time you drive you should make sure you have checked that; the windscreen, windows and mirrors are clean, all the lights work and that the brakes work. Continue reading “An Overview of The UK Driving Laws 2018”