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Give yourself a break

2003-06-24 09:31

Fatigue is a major cause of death and injury on South African roads, particularly in the country, where it shows up in around 20% of fatal crashes. Fatigue can overwhelm a tired driver in a matter of moments.

Weary drivers who try to plug on to the next town before taking a break are inviting tragedy. Dawn is the most dangerous time for the fatigued motorist, when heavy eyelids may involuntarily slam shut to block out the rising sun.

Medical experts believe that even a fresh driver needs to stop every two hours for a stretch and refreshments. Use the break to thoroughly clean bugs and grime off the windscreen.

Driving beyond the speed limit, or in defiance of bad weather or road conditions, brings its own problems. If the police don't get you, then a skid on a wet road or another hazard may.

Coffee will help you to stay awake, but the best way is to stop and have a rest. Fill the time cleaning the windscreen and the lights, or just stretch your legs.

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