Diane Wilson put in a sparkling performance a few days ago to pass her advanced test with flying colours and a F1rst. Her examiner said “A really well-planned systematic drive, and a really well deserved F1RST; ‘Masters’ next “. Well done Diane from all at GAM – terrific result.
As part of the IAM’s campaign to raise awareness of the issues surrounding older drivers in the UK and to offer support and guidance to those driving in later life, IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, shares his tips on ways to stay alert and avoid tiredness.
- Older people can be more susceptible to fatigue so tiredness can prove a real problem. Extreme tiredness can lead to micro-sleeps, whatever your age. This is a short episode of drowsiness or sleep that could last a fraction of a second or up to 30 seconds. A car driving at 70 mph will travel 31 metres per second, giving plenty of time to cause a serious crash during a micro-sleep.
- The effects of regularly losing one or two hours of sleep a night can lead to chronic sleepiness over time. So, ensure you are well rested and feeling fit and healthy before you set off.
- Make sure you take regular rest breaks to split up the journey, especially when driving on a long, boring stretch of motorway. It’s good practise to stop at least every two hours and it’s essential to take a break before the drowsiness sets in.
- If necessary, plan an overnight stop. If you feel too fatigued to carry on driving, then book yourself into a hotel at the next service area and sleep it off. Wake up fresh with a good breakfast and carry on your journey. It’s good to note that a caffeine “high” may be a quick fix, but it’s not a long-term solution and certainly no substitute for proper sleep.
- Older people can get tired quickly, even when they haven’t been physically exerting themselves for long periods of time. So avoid setting out on a long drive near the end of the day. It’s best to start your journey earlier, when you’re more alert.
- If possible, avoid driving between the two peak times for sleepiness. These are between 3am and 5am and between 2pm and 4pm.
- If you’ve taken prescribed medication, then seek advice from your GP as to whether you should be driving or not. If bought over the counter, then read the instructions on the pack or speak to a pharmacist.
Richard says: “Whatever your age, you need regular sleep to perform at your highest level. Driving requires full concentration at all times, and if you’re tired your ability to concentrate is reduced. Internal body clocks (circadian rhythms) are usually set to deal with normal lifestyle patterns, so extra care needs to be taken when you’re driving during a time you would normally be at rest. Stop, rehydrate and rest if you need to. This is particularly true for those who are driving in later life, but the rule applies to all.”
Another top quality advanced drive from Seb Habibi gets a F1rst from his examiner who said Seb was ‘safe, systematic and smooth, an excellent drive’. Many congratulations from all at GAM for a superb result.
Ian continues a terrific run of test successes by securing a well earned pass last week. Ian’s examiner was very complimentary about the standard of Ian’s driving and happily awarded him a test pass. Well done Ian, from all at GAM.
Many congratulations to Luca Whiteway who passed with a well deserved F1rst at the end of September. Luca’s test pass was the seventh for GAM in September, the last three all being F1rst. A record month for GAM and a great boost for Luca who said “Very happy with the how the drive went and overall feeling a lot more confident on the road”.
Many congratulations to Harriet Tenner for passing her advanced test earlier this month. Harriet told us she was delighted to pass, and at GAM we are really pleased that she was successful and joins an ever growing list of advanced drivers around Guildford.
There’s no stopping the GAM Associates this month. David Hutchings passed his test yesterday with another perfect score of 1s all the way. David’s examiner was very complimentary about his performance and everyone at GAM is very pleased with this excellent result. Well done David.
Hearty congratulations to Tony Bowman who gained a First pass in his Advanced Test yesterday with a complete set of perfect scores. Tony is an ADI with his own driving school, so this is another qualification to add for his driving career. Very well done Tony, from all at Guildford Advanced Motorists.
Congratulations to Phil Taylor who also passed his test on 5 September, making it three in a row for GAM! Phil really enjoyed the experience of his observed drives and the test itself. His well earned pass is a great result for Phil and all our Observers. Well done.
Many congratulations to Lesley Pearce who passed her advanced driving test yesterday. Lesley received some excellent compliments from her Examiner and demonstrated a very good understanding of the principles of advanced driving. All the hard work worthwhile, and this great result adds to GAM super September list of test passes. Well done Lesley.