Road safety: Tired drivers overestimate the effects of coffee

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Tired drivers overestimate the effects of coffee

Road safety: Tired drivers overestimate the effects of coffee-road

Even after a quick cup of coffee, tiredness does not go away immediately. Experts therefore advise taking a short nap after coffee and then driving on

Source: VFR

Drivers are familiar with this: after long journeys on the autobahn, tiredness sets in, and some people then hope for a boost of energy after a cup of coffee. This hope is deceptive – and dangerous.

S.I quickly approve of a coffee or another caffeinated drink and quickly get back to the wheel: That tiredness disappears immediately after the coffee and you immediately feel fresh and lively again is a misconception, or even an imagination.

"It can take up to half an hour for the refreshing effects of the caffeine to kick in, which is often overestimated", explains Hans-Gunter Weeb, head of the interdisciplinary sleep center at the Palatinate Clinic for Psychiatry and Neurology in Klingenmunster.

The doctor therefore recommends a nap after coffee: with "ten to 20 minutes’ nap after an espresso" drivers can get fit again for up to two hours of driving. "The recovery from sleep and the stimulating effects of the caffeine then come together", says Weeb.

However, the sleep researcher urgently warns against driving tiredly: "Studies have shown that around a fifth of all road accidents are caused by drowsy drivers."

If possible, do not switch on the cruise control

Signs of tiredness and the threat of microsleep are burning eyes and heavy eyelids, frequent yawning or wandering of thoughts. "Then drivers should definitely take a break at the next opportunity and, if possible, sleep a few hours", he advises.

On the way on vacation, many drivers are particularly at risk of being overwhelmed by microsleep and having an accident. “Many start very early in the morning after two or three hours of sleep, the distances are unusually long and motorway journeys are generally monotonous", Weeb names factors that make you tired.

Travelers shouldn’t expect too much, take enough breaks and, if possible, not switch on the cruise control on the motorway, but instead provide for a bit of variety by varying the driving speed, for example.

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