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Disabled Drivers: What To Do If You Become Exhausted While Driving

Fatigue on the road can be incredibly dangerous. Disabled drivers may be more susceptible to fatigue than other drivers, so this is an extra challenge to be aware of if driving for long distances. And what’s more, research shows that some people find car travel particularly sleep-inducing due to the soft vibrations and low hum of the engine.

Noticing the signs of fatigue and being vigilant is important for staying safe behind the wheel. Below, we’ll cover some practical advice for drivers who may struggle with exhaustion when driving, and will offer some tips for preventing and treating the first signs of tiredness while on the road.

What are the signs that you are a fatigued driver?

Driver fatigue usually sets in slowly – you may not be aware of it right away, but it is important to keep an eye out for it if you are undertaking a journey of substantial distance. Your thoughts may be drifting or you may be daydreaming, without really thinking about your driving or the road ahead of you. You may find that as your concentration falters, your reaction speeds slow. Your body may also feel quite stiff and cramped, and your eyes may be a bit sore. Your eyelids may get heavier and some drivers may even end up closing their eyes completely (which, of course, is the most dangerous part!).

Being aware of these things is the best way to prevent any serious accidents while on the road – if you notice any of the above signs, you know it’s time to pull over and take a break.

person exhausted in car
Image by Sinitta Leunen on Pexels: Is fatigue considered an impairment while driving? Most definitely.

What type of driver is most likely to be at risk of drowsy driving?

Any driver can be at risk of fatigue while on the road. However, you are most likely to become exhausted behind the wheel if you are already tired when you get into your car. Therefore, it’s best to start out any journeys (particularly long ones) well-rested and free of excessive fatigue.

Disabled drivers may also be more likely to experience exhaustion on the road for several other reasons. They may have to take strong medication or pain relief, which could contribute to drowsiness; in this case, it is very important that disabled drivers do not get behind the wheel while under the influence of these medications. If you’re a disabled driver who requires medication for your condition, it’s important to check the label of your medications to see whether drowsiness is a side effect, as well as discussing this with your physician, who will be able to give further advice.

Disabled drivers may also be at greater risk of exhaustion while driving for the sole reason that some medical conditions or disabilities can make car travel more physically and mentally tiring. If your medical condition makes driving difficult, then you should absolutely consider vehicle adaptations to make it more comfortable for you. However, it’s also important to be extra aware of the signs of fatigue if you’re in this position, especially if you are driving for long distances on your own.

How do I stop being so tired while driving?

As we’ve mentioned, the best way to prevent tiredness while driving is to rest well beforehand so you start each trip on a good note. In addition, there are several other things you can do to prepare for your journey and to prevent fatigue:

  • Plan your route, so you are aware of your surroundings in advance.
  • Ensure you stay hydrated and don’t become too hungry.
  • Avoid alcohol or any medications that may cause drowsiness.
  • Consider stopping overnight on long trips to break up the journey, and take frequent breaks along the way.
person resting in car
Image by Greyerbaby on Pixabay: Make sure you take plenty of breaks to prevent exhaustion while driving!

What to do when tired while driving

If you notice yourself becoming exhausted while on the road, it’s absolutely essential that you take a break as soon as you can – this should be your priority if you are experiencing fatigue. If possible, share your trips with another driver, who can switch with you when you need a rest. However, if this is not an option, the most important thing is to ensure you do not continue driving while tired – this can be dangerous for you and others.

With the proper preparation and awareness, you can greatly reduce the risks associated with fatigue on the road.

Featured image by freestocks-photos on Pixabay

10 Driving Tips That All Disabled Drivers Should Know

Driving with a disability can pose some specific challenges. Many disabled drivers need to operate vehicles that have been adapted or modified in some way. There’s plenty of good advice for disabled drivers out there, and following it will help you keep yourself, your passengers, and other road users safe.

There are several ways you can learn how to drive safely with a disability. One option is to attend a driving school for adults with disabilities. These schools teach people with disabilities how to drive as safely and effectively as possible. You can also find a lot of good information online about how to drive safely with a disability (including right here!).

Read on as we outline 10 driving tips that all disabled drivers should know.

woman driving vehicle
Image by Pexels on Pixabay: Driving with a disability can pose some extra challenges.

Disabled Driving Tips

Here are our top 10 driving tips that all disabled drivers should know.

1. Drive The Safest Vehicle Possible

One of the most effective ways for disabled drivers to stay safe on the roads is to drive a safe vehicle. Modern vehicle safety systems are highly effective, so driving a newer model vehicle will keep you and your passengers safer than driving an old model.

2. Make Sure Your Vehicle Is Well-Maintained

Another important tip that will help you stay safe is to always make sure your vehicle is well maintained. This means taking it for regular servicing and keeping on top of general vehicle maintenance. A well-maintained vehicle is a safe vehicle.

3. Drive A Vehicle With All Appropriate Disability Adaptations

Disabled drivers need to have all of the appropriate vehicle modifications for their specific disability. Make sure your vehicle has any disability adaptations it needs to make driving safer, easier, and much more enjoyable.

4. Stay As Calm As Possible Behind The Wheel

Stressed-out driving, erratic behavior behind the wheel, and road rage are big causes of injury and death on the roads. Always try to stay as calm as possible when behind the wheel. When you’re calm and collected, you’re much more likely to drive responsibly and safely.

5. Stay Safe By Implementing Defensive Driving

It’s always a good idea to implement defensive driving skills. Defensive driving involves:

  • Always having safety as a first priority.
  • Being aware of your surroundings.
  • Not relying on good driving from other road users.
  • Maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
  • Driving at a safe speed.
  • Avoiding distractions.

6. Never Drive While Drowsy

Drowsy driving is a major cause of injury and death on the roads. If you’re tired, pull over and take a nap, get some fresh air, or have a coffee.

7. Never Drive Under The Influence Of Alcohol Or Drugs

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is lethal, and never worth the risk. You should also understand the effects of any prescription or over-the-counter medication you may be taking.

person driving car
Image by freestocks-photos on Pixabay: Disabled driving tips can help you stay safe on the roads.

8. Always Keep Your Vehicle Stocked With Emergency Equipment

It’s important for disabled drivers to keep their vehicle well-stocked with emergency equipment, such as:

  • First aid kit
  • Drinking water
  • Back-up medication
  • Snacks
  • Spare tire, tripod jack, wheel wrench
  • Tool kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Reflective triangles and a reflective vest
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Duct tape
  • Cell phone and car mobile phone charge
  • Warm clothes and blankets
  • Snow shovel, snow brush, cat litter for traction
  • Windshield washer fluid

9. Avoid Heavy Traffic By Planning Your Route In Advance And Using Satellite Navigation

Being stuck in heavy traffic is stressful and time-consuming. You can usually avoid heavy traffic by planning your journey in advance, traveling at off-peak times if possible, and using satellite navigation.

10. Always Have Your Disabled Parking Permit With You

Always make sure you can avail of disabled parking infrastructure wherever you go by having your disabled parking permit with you at all times.

How To Get A Disabled Parking Permit

You can get a disabled parking permit by applying to your local disabled parking authorities. The first step is to have a consultation with a medical professional licensed in your state. This can be done remotely by video conference and can be arranged online with Dr. Handicap.

Once the medical professional has verified your disability, they will sign an application form and email it to you. You should then complete the application and submit it, either by mail, in person, or in some states online, to your local disabled parking authorities. This will usually be your local Department of Motor Vehicles office. It’s a quick and easy process, so get started today!

Featured image by Larisa-K on Pixabay

6 Safety Tips For Disabled Drivers On Slick Roads

Today we’re here to provide some important safety tips for disabled drivers on slick roads. Every year in the US there are over 200,000 road traffic accidents caused by slippery road conditions. Driving on slick roads is dangerous and requires extra concentration and vigilance.

Driving carelessly on slick roads can be lethal. It’s easy to lose control of a vehicle while driving on a slick, slippery surface, and many people are killed or injured each year in traffic accidents because of this.

Every disabled driver needs to know how to drive safely on slick roads. Road slipperiness can occur for a variety of reasons, anywhere in the country. To protect yourself and other road users, it’s essential that you know how to drive safely on slick roads and in slippery conditions.

What Weather Conditions Can Cause Roads To Become Slick Or Slippery?

Several different types of weather can cause slick, slippery roads; snow, ice, rain, wet leaves, or even accidents like oil spills can occur anywhere in the country. For this reason, it’s vital to understand how to stay safe when driving on slick roads.

How Do You Drive In Slippery Conditions?

When driving on slick roads, what should you do? Keep the following key points in mind…

  • Make sure your vehicle is well maintained and functioning optimally.
  • Drive slowly.
  • Practice safe, defensive driving.
  • Leave an appropriate distance between yourself and the vehicle in front.
  • Use your signals early.
  • Wear your seat belt.
winter road
Image by monicore on Pixabay: How do you drive in slippery conditions?

What Should You Avoid Doing On Slippery Roads?

When driving on slippery roads, you should avoid:

  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Using cruise control

How Can You Prevent Skidding On Slippery Surfaces?

You can prevent skidding on slippery surfaces by:

  • Making sure your tires are the correct pressure and the threads are not worn down
  • Driving slowly
  • Slowing down even more before intersections and turns
  • Braking gently
  • Giving yourself plenty of room to stop
  • Pumping your brakes if your vehicle does not have anti-lock brakes
  • Avoiding driving through puddles, wet leaves, ice patches, or oil spills

Safety Tips For Disabled Drivers On Slick Roads

Here are our top safety tips for disabled drivers on slick roads.

1. Make Sure Your Vehicle Is Well Maintained

Making sure your vehicle is well maintained and in excellent working order will help you to stay safe when driving on slick roads. Get your vehicle serviced by a professional at least once a year, and check your tire pressure and tire threads regularly.

2. Practice Safe Defensive Driving

You can stay safe on slick roads by always practicing defensive driving. Defensive driving involves the following practices:

  • Have safety as a first priority.
  • Avoid distractions.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Never rely on good driving from other road users.
  • Drive at a safe speed.
  • Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front.

3. Drive Slowly And Keep Your Distance From Other Drivers

Driving at a safe speed and keeping your distance from the vehicle in front are key parts of defensive driving, but in slick conditions these practices become even more important.

Braking distances are longer in slick conditions, so to stay safe, disabled drivers need to drive at a sensible speed and allow extra distance between themselves and other vehicles when driving in slippery conditions.

rainy slick road
Image by StockSnap on Pixabay: When driving on slick roads what should you do?

4. Use Your Signals Early

Use your signals earlier than usual when driving on slick roads. This will give vehicles behind you extra time to slow down and keep their distance from you.

5. Understand Skidding Maneuvers

If you skid, implement the following maneuvers:

  • Take your foot off of the accelerator.
  • Do not engage the brakes.
  • Steer gently in the direction you want to go.
  • Allow the front wheels to regain grip.
  • Continue to steer gently; do not wrench the wheel aggressively.

6. Make Sure Your Vehicle Is Stocked With Emergency Equipment

If you are driving on slick roads, there is always a possibility of an accident or getting stranded. Stay safe by keeping your vehicle stocked with the following emergency equipment:

  • Drinking water
  • Snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Back-up medication
  • Cell phone and car mobile phone charger
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Tool kit
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Spare tire, tripod jack, wheel wrench
  • Jumper cables
  • Reflective triangles and a reflective vest
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Duct tape
  • Warm clothes and blankets
  • Snow shovel, snow brush, cat litter for traction

How Do You Apply For A Disabled Parking Permit?

If you’re a disabled driver, another thing you can do to stay safe on the road is apply for a disabled parking permit. The first step in the process is to have a video consultation with a medical professional. This consultation is so your disability and suitability to use disabled parking can be verified. This can be done easily at the Dr. Handicap online clinic.

Once your disability has been verified, the medical professional will sign an application form and email it to you. You can then complete the application form and submit it to your local disabled parking authorities.

Featured image by Larisa-K on Pixabay

9 Things That Safe Drivers Do

How do I become a super-safe driver? This is a question that all disabled drivers should be asking themselves. Driving is convenient and often enjoyable – but it can also be dangerous if not done properly and sensibly.

On the road, every driver faces an ever-present risk of accident, injury and even death. Driving safely and arming yourself with the skills to keep yourself and your passengers safe is extremely important.

So, what does a safe driver do whenever they’re on the road? What skills do safe drivers have? And how can you be a smart and safe driver every time you get behind the wheel? Today, we’ll be talking about some key things that safe drivers do.

1. Safe Drivers Don’t Rely On Other Road Users To Drive Safely

Safe drivers take full responsibility for their own safety and the safety of their passengers. They don’t rely on other road users to behave responsibly at all times, because unfortunately, this often isn’t the case.

Other drivers may do dangerous and irresponsible things on the road from time to time, so it’s always essential that you keep a safe distance from other cars and pedestrians, stay alert to your surroundings, and expect the unexpected.

2. Safe Drivers Avoid Distraction

Distracted driving is often lethal. Many people get into accidents every year on US roads as a result of their own or another road user’s distracted driving. Safe drivers never allow themselves to be distracted while driving.

To avoid distraction, never use your phone while driving, avoid loud audio, and make sure passengers are calm and sensibly behaved.

person driving on snowy road
Image by Jaromír Kavan on Unsplash: What skills do safe drivers have?

3. Safe Drivers Become Experts At Defensive Driving

Safe drivers always drive defensively and are always improving their driving skills. Defensive driving means:

  • Always having safety as a first priority
  • Being very aware of your surroundings
  • Never relying on good driving from other road users
  • Maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front
  • Driving at a safe speed
  • Avoiding distractions

4. Safe Drivers Never Drive When Drowsy

Drowsy driving leads to thousands of deaths on the road every year. Safe drivers know that when they feel drowsy, it’s essential to take a break, have a nap, and/or refresh themselves with some cool air or a cup of coffee.

5. Safe Drivers Never Drive Under The Influence Of Alcohol Or Drugs

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is an extremely dangerous and irresponsible thing to do. Safe drivers only drive when they are sober. If you’re planning to drink when you go out, be sure to have another method of transport arranged so you won’t be tempted to get behind the wheel.

6. Safe Drivers Drive Safe, Well-Maintained Vehicles

Safe drivers always make sure that their vehicle is well-maintained, fully serviced, and in perfect working order. Safe drivers also use the appropriate vehicle modifications they need if they have a disability.

7. Safe Drivers Keep Suitable Emergency Equipment In Their Vehicle

Safe drivers always have the following essential safety equipment in their vehicle:

  • First aid kit
  • Drinking water
  • Emergency food
  • Back-up medication
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Duct tape
  • Cell phone and car mobile phone charge
  • Spare tire, tripod jack, wheel wrench
  • Tool kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Reflective triangles and a reflective vest
  • Warm clothes and blankets
  • Snow shovel, snow brush, cat litter for traction
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Coolant fluid
  • Oil
person driving vehicle
Image by JacksonDavid on Pixabay: How do I become a super-safe driver?

8. Safe Drivers Know What Weather Conditions To Expect

Driving in adverse weather conditions can be risky. Safe drivers always know what weather to expect on their journey and how to deal with whatever Mother Nature throws at them.

9. Safe Drivers Always Have Their Disabled Parking Permit

Safe drivers who are disabled always make sure to have their disabled parking permit with them. You can only use disabled parking if you have your permit and display it clearly, hanging from the rearview mirror.

How Do I Get A Disabled Parking Permit?

To get a disabled parking permit, you should submit an application form to your local disabled parking authorities. This will usually be your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

The first step is to have a video consultation with a physician or other medical professional licensed in your state. This can be arranged through the Dr. Handicap online clinic.

Once you have completed your consultation and your suitability for disabled parking has been verified, the physician will email you a certified copy of your state’s disabled parking application form. You will then complete the form and submit it, along with any necessary payment and proof of ID, to your local disabled parking authorities.

Whether you submit your application to your local DMV office or to the tax collector’s office will depend on which state you are applying in. You can submit your application either in person or by mail, and in a growing number of states, you can submit your application online.

Featured image by Art Markiv on Unsplash

6 Defensive Driving Techniques That All Disabled Drivers Should Know

Most drivers have heard the term defensive driving. But what exactly does it mean? And why is defensive driving for disabled drivers so important?

Defensive driving is a series of actions and behaviors that will help you stay safe behind the wheel. As a driver, you can only control your own actions, not those of other drivers, so defensive driving techniques help you stay safe on the road, even if another driver makes a mistake.

Done correctly, defensive driving will help you avoid accidents by spotting hazards in advance and avoiding dangerous situations. It’s particularly important for disabled drivers who might have special physical or mental considerations that make driving more challenging.

If you want to stay safe and prepared while on the road, here are a few defensive driving techniques that all disabled drivers should know.

1. Follow the three-second rule

The three-second rule is taught to new drivers as a way of preventing collisions. It states that you should keep at least three seconds of time between yourself and the car ahead of you, so if they brake suddenly, you’ll have time to react.

However, for disabled drivers who might have slower response times, consider following a five- or six-second rule. If you know it will take you longer to react to something on the road, it’s completely OK to keep a wider berth between yourself and other drivers.

Don’t worry about cars behind you – they can pass you if they choose to do so. You can also yield or pull over to let other drivers pass you if they’re driving aggressively.

2. Drive at times of the day that are safest for you

What are some defensive driving skills specific to disabled drivers? One of our top recommendations is to only drive at times of the day when you’re most focused and alert, as this will help you stay safe.

For example, if you know you feel tired at certain times of the day when you take your medication, plan your trips so you don’t need to be on the road during these times.

person using phone while behind wheel of vehicle
Image by melissa mjoen on Unsplash: Driving defensively means avoiding distractions – especially cell phones – and focusing all of your attention on the road.

3. Minimize distractions

So, what should every driver know about defensive driving? If it’s one thing, it’s this: minimize distractions! Distracted driving is the leading cause of crashes in the US, so never take your eyes off the road.

If you need to check your phone, make a call, or change the radio, always pull over somewhere safe to do so. Avoid eating while driving, too – if your disability means you need to eat frequently for your blood sugar, always do so when the car is parked.

Taking your eyes off the road for a split second is all it takes to cause a collision, so don’t take the risk.

4. Scan the road constantly

To drive defensively, you should always be scanning the road. Keep your eyes on what’s immediately ahead of you, but also what’s ahead on the horizon, so you’re completely aware of your surroundings. This way, it’s easier to make decisions and react to upcoming problems, such as a traffic jam.

Keep in mind that scanning the road and paying close attention can be mentally tiring, especially for those with a disability. On long drives, take plenty of rest breaks so you’re fresh, or share the driving with someone else.

5. Use your mirrors

When you get in the car, always double-check that your mirrors are positioned correctly. If someone else drove the car before you, you’ll probably need to adjust them to your height.

As you drive, check your mirrors regularly, especially before you make a turn or switch lanes – mirrors are one of your most important tools for staying safe.

person reading map to determine driving route
Image by ali elliott on Unsplash: You’ll be safer on the road if you always know where you’re going before you get in the car.

6. Plan your route in advance

For some drivers, especially those with learning disabilities, navigating to a new place can be confusing and overwhelming. Reading road signs while driving, looking for the right exit, and focusing on the road can be a lot to do at once, especially if you’re trying to navigate as well.

If you’re someone who struggles with unfamiliar environments, it’s smart to always plan your route in advance. Review your directions and use a GPS to help you navigate as you drive. This will help you stay calm and focused on your driving, without needing to stress about where you’re going. If you do get lost and feel panicked, pull over and take a few deep breaths – it can be unsafe to drive while you’re feeling frustrated or stressed.

If you’re looking for more safe driving tips, reach out to your local driving school to learn more. Wondering “Why would someone take a defensive driving course?” It can be a great way to refresh your skills, especially if you’re out of practice.

Defensive driving is one of the best ways for drivers with disabilities to protect themselves. However, disabled drivers also have an easier time once they’ve approved for handicapped permits, which makes parking much more convenient. If you’re not sure if you qualify for one, you can ask a doctor today – a quick and easy way to make life on the road easier and safer.

Featured image by Brauilo Corona on Unsplash