As a disabled driver, it can be particularly hard to stay alert on the road. There are several reasons why disabled drivers may get tired more easily than others. Perhaps you’re on pain medication for your condition, which could cause drowsiness. For those with reduced mobility, any sort of activity may cause you to fatigue more quickly. Whatever the reason, disabled drivers are at risk of becoming less focused, and this can be dangerous when you’re behind the wheel.
So why is it important to be alert when driving? Fatigue is a major cause of road accidents, and it’s vital that you avoid becoming sleepy at the wheel. Losing focus while driving, even for an instant, greatly increases your chance of being involved in an accident.
If you’re a disabled driver, you may be wondering what can help you stay alert while driving. There are many ways to ensure you stay safe, and with a bit of extra effort you can keep your concentration levels up. So what techniques can you use to stay alert while driving? Let’s find out! Below we’ve put together a list of our top tips for disabled drivers to help you focus on your journey.
Tips To Help Disabled Drivers Stay Alert On the Road
1. Get a good night’s sleep
This is an obvious one – never drive while you’re exhausted or sleep-deprived! Drivers who begin their drive already tired are only going to become more exhausted. And as we know, the more tired you are, the less alert you are.
If you have a drive coming up – especially if it’s a longer or more challenging route – ensure you get a proper night’s sleep before you depart so you can begin on the right foot. This tip is valid for every type of driver, disabled or not, and really is an invaluable piece of advice to follow before long drives.
2. Take lots of breaks along the way
If you find yourself losing concentration, make sure you take a break to rest. Don’t wait until you’re barely able to focus on the road before you stop – this is when you’re most likely to be involved in an accident. Instead, recognize that you’re tired, and pull over whenever it’s safe to do so.
If you still feel absolutely exhausted after a break, consider adjusting your plans to adapt to this – maybe it’s best to stay put and continue the following day (if on a longer trip and this is a viable option), or maybe you’ve only just left your house and wish to return.
Some people swear by a quick roadside nap where possible to stave off fatigue, while others find that this does little to help them. Only you know what works best for you, so you should do that! The main point is to not continue if you’re still drowsy.
3. Consider sharing the drive with someone else
If you’re going on a longer journey, or traveling with someone else for any drive, you could consider sharing driving responsibilities where possible. As soon as you start feeling your alertness fading, you can swap with your companion and recuperate a little while still making progress on your trip.
Even better – plan your rest breaks and swap driving duties accordingly, so neither driver has a chance to become fatigued at all. We understand that this may be more difficult for disabled drivers with vehicle adaptations, but if it’s an option, it could definitely make longer drivers safer – and more fun as well!
4. Don’t take medication that makes you drowsy – and avoid alcohol!
This is a very important point: if you take pain medication that may cause drowsiness, do not ingest any prior to long drives. Some medications may cause you to lose focus very quickly, so you’re easily at risk of becoming tired and unable to focus on the road. If in doubt, speak to your physician, who can advise you further about your medication and its effects.
The same goes for alcohol, and this applies to anyone operating a vehicle. Alcohol rapidly affects driving capabilities (and can interact negatively with medications, too), so should be avoiding prior to getting behind the wheel.
We hope that these top tips to help disabled drivers stay alert on the road have been helpful for you. If you’re a driver with a disability, you should consider applying for a disabled parking permit in your state. This can greatly reduce driving-related stress by giving you access to convenient and well-designed parking spaces to suit your needs. If you need more information on how to apply, Dr Disabled is here to help with your application for a disabled parking permit.
Featured image by Viktor Bystrov on Unsplash