Stop Rest and Survive??...Or what ever!.

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 20:55
ThreadID: 92750 Views:3455 Replies:16 FollowUps:15
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So How many Hrs can you safeley drive before nodding off?....I reckon 3-4hrs is fine have a cuppa and quick bite to eat is safe enough,...Have driven for 10hrs straight, with a drink and something to eat on the run,..Weary but haven't dozed off,..If holidaying theres no rush,but if having to get to a destination on a time limit then stopping every2hrs gives me the gripes.

Cheers Axle.
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Reply By: get outmore - Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 21:24

Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 21:24
Great believer in the power nap. If I get the nods I can pull up and be asleep in seconds. Wake up with a jolt who knows how much later and wide awake
AnswerID: 481295

Reply By: Member - Josh- Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 21:51

Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 21:51
Driving home late at night I used to skull a 1.2 ltr bottle of coke. I would be busting for a leak all the way home and holding on to hard to nod off. Sometimes only just got in the door before I had an accident but never went to sleep.
I have had some crap jobs over the years and driven some stupid hours.
If we're on holidays we are taking our time so stop when ever we need to. We drove 10 hrs one day with heaps of stops and swapping drivers.
It's not worth risking your life or others just to get there sooner.

AnswerID: 481296

Reply By: wizzer73 - Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 21:58

Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 21:58
Depends on how tired you are at the beginning of the drive I rekon. Biggest thing to remember Its not only your life you are risking. Passengers and other road users should come into your thoughts.

AnswerID: 481297

Follow Up By: Axle - Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 23:09

Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 23:09
If That tired before a drive,..Don't BotherGoing!.

Cheers Axle.
FollowupID: 756668

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 22:49

Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 22:49
Can't beat a big sleep, 8 or 9 hours, the night before you do a long drive,

And chewing gum helps to keep awake. Only got to bite your tongue, or cheek, a couple of times, and you're awake for hours!!!


Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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AnswerID: 481301

Follow Up By: spudseamus - Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 23:04

Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 23:04
yes plenty of rest before the drive and stop every 2 hrs --pull over and get out for a walk up the road for 100m and then back to the car .
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Follow Up By: Axle - Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 23:05

Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 23:05
Agree Bob,... If the old body will settle for that amount of time before take

FollowupID: 756667

Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 23:58

Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 at 23:58
A lot of accidents where the vehicle has simply left the road, and other occasions where drivers find themselves nodding off, can fairly and squarely be blamed on sleep apnoea.

If left undiagnosed it can cause serious health issues, even death.

But once diagnosed, and a cpap machine used, the difference is remarkable.

It is like being super-oxygenated overnight.

I'm happy to talk about this with anyone who is interested as I suffered the issues mentioned above.

Now, I'm up at 4am, wide awake, and last through to 11pm or so. When towing the van, long distances are not a problem. They don't occur very often because of our relaxed travel plans, but no tiredness anymore if I have to go a long distance.

It's such a rejuvenating treatment that I'm surprised athletes don't use cpap machines as a matter of course.

I encourage anyone who gets tired during the day, or wakes up tired, or gets a dig in the ribs for snoring, to organise a sleep examination. They can be done over a few nights at home with a loan machine. The results could be surprising, and life-saving.

I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
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AnswerID: 481304

Follow Up By: ross - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 01:31

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 01:31
For a lot of people some rigorous exercise should be the 1st port of call if they have sleep apnoea.

A 15 minute brisk walk an hour or so before bed does wonders for me.
There are also other things like not eating or drinking alcohol or coffee for 3-4 hours before bed.
The type of foods and the amount eaten is also important.
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Reply By: Wayne's 60 - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 03:09

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 03:09
Interesting question Axle .................. must be a quiet week at the R.H.F.C.

Wayne & Sally.

P.S. There are really TOO many variables to even consider asking the question.

Drivers (and their main passenger) need to be on a very high level of awareness!

First yawning ............. a warning.

2nd yawning ............ a MAJOR warning.

3rd yawning .................. WHAT PART OF THE FIRST TWO DON'T YOU GET!!

Wayne & Sally.
AnswerID: 481307

Follow Up By: Wayne's 60 - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 03:25

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 03:25
P.S. You need to have a very well qualified "left seat person" on ANY trip.

Sally can drive both of our vehicles through any terrain when required.

I will sleep, in my time away from the wheel, while she drives!


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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 09:54

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 09:54
Spot on Wayne and Sally. That extra pair of eyes is especially useful going into unfamiliar built up areas. Plus monitoring whoever is driving for signs of fatigue.

I am constantly amazed at the number of women of all ages who are out doing the big trip but who do not drive. Apart from actually enjoying the driving they are unable to get mobile in the event that something happens to the driver.

I suspect that its not just the women thinking they dont want to do any driving. There might be more than the occasioanl male who either does not encourage their wives/partners to become good confident drivers, or even undermines their attempts to do so.


J and V
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Follow Up By: SDG - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 18:56

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 18:56
In thirty years of driving, I have never had a female passenger who knew how to drive a manual. Many of them did not know how to drive at all. All refused to learn.
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 21:19

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 21:19
obviouilsy dating the wrong sort of girl.

My Mrs wont own an auto.

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Follow Up By: Madfisher - Monday, Mar 26, 2012 at 13:29

Monday, Mar 26, 2012 at 13:29
We have a girl at work who jumped into a 8 ton tautliner and drove it from wagga to bathurst no worries, manual 6 speed.
Cheers Pete
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Reply By: dindy - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 09:04

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 09:04
Consider this, at 100kph you travel 27 metres per second, nod off for a micro sleep at say 2 seconds and that puts you 64 metres into the scrub, trees, down a drop off, into a wall, onto the incorrect side of the road into oncoming vehicles all before you wake up and spend about another second figuring out where you are and another half a second reacting to the situation and trying to correct the travel of the vehicle. So lets say you have lost control of your vehicle, filled with family and towing your van, at 100kph for about 3.5 seconds and you may be unconsciously accelerating at the time. The outcome maybe horrendous all because stopping for a couple of minutes every couple of hours is a pita?

AnswerID: 481314

Reply By: Member - Richard H - West NSW - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 09:49

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 09:49
The only time in my life when I went to sleep at the wheel was driving home after night shift, and I was about 250 metres from where my street left the main road. I was driving a Renault 12 which was a front wheel drive, and luckily I pulled back onto the bitumen. But gees did I get a fright.

I think age has a bit to do with getting tired at the wheel. I recall that when in my early years I could drive all night from Wentworth to Gosford, and that was after work. I wouldn't even think about doing that now.

These days I'll stop and have a little camp if I get tired. Though this usually occurs early in the afternoon after lunch. Another factor is the road. I find that if the road is winding and you are driving the vehicle you tend not to think about being tired, but if it's a straight road eg. Barrier or Stuart Highway, & there's nothing to look at except the road and scrub then the tendency to nod off is heightened.

Of course a decent sleep the nigh before is essential, but even with that, the afternoon period is the time when you are risk.

AnswerID: 481320

Reply By: Member - gaz 290 - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 10:53

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 10:53
i have a driver fatigue alarm which clips behind the ear and give a sharp beep or vibrate when your head nods. phone 0297155100 or
AnswerID: 481324

Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 11:22

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 11:22
All heavy vehicle drivers are required to drive only as the guidelines permit....and they realy are not far of the money.

if in a heavy vehicle working without formal fatigue management
You can only drive
12 hours in any 24 with a minimum of 7 hours continuous stationary rest
10 hours in any 11
7 1/2 hours in any 8
5 1/4 hours in any 5 1/2

breaks must be in continuous 15 minute blocks

Travling in my own car, I will generally stop every 2 hours.....and 14 hours total is about as far As I want to go in a day alone and only when necessary

Caffene and sugar are best avoided.....they may wake you up in the short term but once the sugar has been metabolised and the caffene has worn off your metabolism will crash and you will be worse off than you started.

Small low fat low, sugar, low carb meals are by far the best, and every 2 hours.

I carry boiled eggs and cooked chicken legs when traveling distances, quick easy snacks that keep you going.

AnswerID: 481327

Follow Up By: gke - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 12:11

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 12:11
From bantam chooks ????? :) Cheers, Graham.
FollowupID: 756702

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 14:51

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 14:51
Actually no..there's not enough meat on a bantam leg to sustain a midget for 2 hours.

THE Bantam..that the "Ghost who squarks" rather than the "Ghost who walks" .
I don't wear a purple suit and ver rarely wear my underwear on the outside.

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Follow Up By: SDG - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 19:03

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 19:03
But from memory that only applies if more than 100km from home base. I remember driving well over the 12 hr guideline with no breaks, eating at the wheel, all because I was under the 100km zone.
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Reply By: vk1dx - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 11:41

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 11:41
I did not read above if anyone mentioned the type of road and what affect it has.

On the drive from Sydney to Canberra that we do quite often it can easily be boring and thus off to noddy land. I tried a couple of times in coming home via Nowra and the now tarred Nelligen Road. I was ten times more alert on the Nowra route than on the boring multi lane Hume run.

Plus the scenery was heaps better and less headlights.

Just another parameter to the "how long" equation.

AnswerID: 481332

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 15:01

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 15:01
damn straight the type of road makes a difference as does the vehicle you are driving.

There are some soul destroying sections of road out there that north coast highway comming out of bris as far as Nambour is a sad an pittifull section of road inspite of its 4 lanes of good surface.......i find it even worse when I'm comming home from the far north......all the southern foolishness starts to become obvious and I know a good trip noth is comming to an end.

There are lots of "worse roads" that I would more happily drive.

A good comfortable vehicle makes a huge difference, drive a hard vehicle that beats you up and ya get tired very quickly.

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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 17:38

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 17:38
But where do you draw the line.

A good comfortable vehicle that is easy to drive with almost lounge chair comfort can put you to sleep. Just sitting there and just "pointing" the car can also.

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Reply By: Member - Terra'Mer - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 12:03

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 12:03
2hrs is tops for me before I need to take a break, stretch the legs, have some water or a cuppa then swap drivers if I'm travelling with some with a licence. If in a hurray, just swap drivers and skip the stroll and snack. I like using the Driver Reviver stands.
It's irresponsible to keep driving until you "feel" tired because your judgement is already impaired and reflexes are already slowing before you are aware of the changes. The 2hr suggestion has been made with consideration to what is good for the average driver and is the result of many years of research into road fatalities and how to prevent them. Why wouldn't you follow advise given for your own safety?
We must always keep in mind when using the road that we are not only responsible for ourselves, our passengers and our vehicle but those we share the road with. How we use the road effects others.
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AnswerID: 481335

Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 13:13

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 13:13
3hrs is usually good for me. My work Commodore has a fatigue warning alarm that comes on every 2 hrs. If you ignore it it drives you batty. Stupid thing is that all you have to do is stop, turn the ignition off, and then start up straight away. Fine if you're changing drivers but if not, it kind of defeats the purpose.
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AnswerID: 481341

Reply By: Graeme - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 15:08

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 15:08
When I was a young fella I was able to drive from Melbourne to Sydney after work with no problems. Now as an old fart I now only drive for a few hours before having a break which is usually with my wife, a cup of tea and a slice of cake.
I now have no hesitation that once I start yawning, I pull over and have a sleep, and if my wife is with me I just say wake me in 35 minutes and have a cuppa before proceeding.
There is no place to go or such an urgency to get anywhere that I have to continue fatigued and be a danger to other road users, including myself.
AnswerID: 481351

Reply By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 17:03

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 17:03
Hi Axle,

Ive constantly drive 4hrs do an 8 hr day then drive 4 hrs home. I also drive 12 hrs straight for work, I'm used to it and at the 1st sign of fatigue, I do stop revive survive.

Out of work times I stop every 2 hours cause I like to take it easy, there is no rush and I like to enjoy the trip.

I dont suggest those who dont regular drive long distances try to do them in one go as it would end in tears, Its like become match fit playing footy.

Cheers Wilko
AnswerID: 481362

Reply By: Rockape - Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 18:27

Sunday, Mar 25, 2012 at 18:27
Have a think about this..

Please listen to what I have to print. Ha Ha.

I have done many miles both in trucks and travelling + work.

I will give some examples. Sydney/Greenvale QLD straight. I remember stopping at the old rail crossing south of Rocky. Problem. Stop sign so I stop. I says to myself where the hell is the crossing. Look in the mirrors and it is about 400 yards behind me. Running on empty again. I am not going to admit to anything else, because it will not serve any purpose.

I can go on about the trucking side but that won't relate to much here.

Work. 12 1/2hrs 14 day night shifts. Up at 3 in the afternoon, work all night till 6.30am. Go back and wait for the plane until 8.30am. Arrive around 10.00am and then drive 400k home.

I never micro sleep and some will say that is BS. I just run on empty, and by that I mean my reaction times are ridiculous. As others have said a second person is great as a second set of eyes.

What we have to realise all people are different.
2 hour breaks and walk arounds are no good for me but maybe good for others.
Naps for me are the go. 20 to 30 mins for me.

Witching hours and you say what the hell is that. It is what I call the time your body wants to sleep. For me this is 2 to 4 am to pm. This is the time I get spongy.

Yawns, I look in the mirror and I yawn. Na! I can yawn after 10 hours sleep or the start of a really long trip even though I am refreshed.

My biggest problem is reaction time (missus always said I was slow) and many others will find the same, even though they don't recognise it.

Aussie travellers should never have this problem as they should be enjoying the country. I never get tired of it. Pun.

Old Tired RA.

AnswerID: 481370

Follow Up By: Axle - Monday, Mar 26, 2012 at 17:35

Monday, Mar 26, 2012 at 17:35
G/Day Mate,....I think we a similiar disease when it comes to travelling....LOL.

Cheers Axle.
FollowupID: 756818

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