As a taxi driver you have the responsibility for taking care of your passengers, which is why you arrange the right PCO insurance, and perform good vehicle checks. Therefore, you should only be driving if you feel fully alert and in good health. Driving when you are excessively tired can be as dangerous as driving after consuming alcohol. If you harm a passenger as a result of an accident caused by your sleepiness, and you are proven to have been negligent then this will be of great detriment to your career. You will struggle to find employment and your private hire insurance premiums will rise dramatically. The best way to avoid this happening is to recognise the signs of tiredness and ensure that you do not risk falling asleep behind the wheel.
If you feel that your eyelids are heavy, you are having difficulty focusing on the road ahead or are blinking frequently then this is a sure sign that you need to take a break. Rolling down your windows to let in fresh air will not have enough of an impact to reduce this tiredness. When your eyelids are closing, you need to sleep.
When we feel tired our thoughts can begin to wander. If you look out of the window and realise that you can’t remember the last few miles, then this could also be a sign that you are too drowsy to drive.
Missed your exit?
Speeding past your exit on the motorway or missing road signs can be an indication that you need to schedule in a break.
Listen to your body! If you are frantically yawning and rubbing your eyes, your brain is trying to tell you that you need to sleep.
You could become so tired that your head begins to nod at the wheel. You may even close your eyes for a few seconds as your body fight the desire to sleep. At this point you are unsafe to be driving.
If your head is nodding and your mind is wandering you may even start to drift out of your lane onto the hard shoulder. This is dangerous enough on an empty road, but when there is other traffic around you this can be extremely hazardous. This is a sign that you should put on the brakes and find a place to rest.
If you have been driving for a long time and begin to feel very restless or irritable then this can be an indication that tiredness is overtaking you.
Taking a half an hour break from driving may be enough to restore you to your normal, alert, calm and rational self, but beware of continuing on for too long before you get some proper sleep.