While the majority of our readers here at CVI are waiting each week with baited breath to read out latest news, it appears that one or two of you may be nodding off… at the wheel.
Yes, in shocking news from Motoring Research, they found that almost half of all van drivers have, at some point, fallen asleep at the wheel. And now the clocks have gone back, van drivers up and down the country are even more likely to feel tired and struggle with their moods during the shorter days and longer nights.
The study of 2,000 van drivers found that 83% of respondents said that tiredness was a greater issue for them during the autumn and winter months, and 45% said that they find their mood to be affected by the change of seasons. And why wouldn’t you? Seasonal Affective Disorder can affect many of us in countries with short winter days, and long dark nights, and while treatment is surprisingly straightforward, it appears to be something that many people are embarrassed to seek medical help for.
Going back to falling asleep at the wheel – if you are feeling a little drowsy, what should van drivers who are feeling sleepy to do? Well, it’s been proven that simply opening the window doesn’t work, so that’s 58% of the respondents to the survey who aren’t doing the right thing. At all. Instead, the guidance is to pull over and take a 15-45-minute nap, and thankfully 2/3 of the van drivers said that they do actually this when they are really tired.
But if you do feel that it’s a little more than a bad night’s sleep and this time of year brings a repeat of the same symptoms, the advice is simple, make sure you lay off the caffeine and alcohol, get a regular sleep pattern, take some form of exercise to boost endorphins and tire you a little and seek medical advice if you feel that you are a sufferer of SAD (Seasonal Affective disorder). If going to the doctors is too much, you could also invest in a SAD light for yourself. Just 10 minutes a day is enough to help make those depressing dark mornings a tad less terrible.