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Driver fitness

Are you fit to drive?

Alcohol and drugs, some medications,
stress, fatigue (mental, emotional, and
physical), and lack of sleep will impair your
judgment and ability to responsibly and
safely operate a vehicle.

Alcohol, and prescription and over-thecounter
medications also can impair your
judgment and vehicle-handling ability.

Fatigue

Fatigue can be deadly. It can be caused by:
• lack of sleep or rest
• emotional stress
• boredom
• driving for long periods of time
• physical activity
• illness
• eye strain

Overeating, use of alcohol or drugs,
or a warm vehicle can increase the
effects of fatigue.

Fatigue can increase the time it takes
you to react. It can also impair your
judgment and decision-making. This can
result in driving errors like driving off the
road or into another lane or oncoming
traffic. You may not realize that you are in
a dangerous situation or be able to react
quickly.

To reduce the risk, do the following:
• Be sure you are well rested before you
   start your trip.
• Keep your vehicle at a comfortable
   temperature. Make sure it is
   well ventilated.
 

• Keep your eyes moving by scanning
   the road ahead and behind. Stay alert
   to your surroundings and check your
   vehicle’s gauges.
• Use sunglasses on bright days.
• If you are feeling tired, stop for a rest.
   Walk around your vehicle.
• Do not drive after drinking alcohol
   or taking drugs.

Drugs and medications

Some prescription and non-prescription
(over-the-counter) medications can
have an impairing affect on your
vehicle-handling ability, judgment and
responsible decision-making when
operating a vehicle. Side effects can
include drowsiness or dizziness.

Talk with your doctor and pharmacist.
Know the effects of all prescription
and over-the-counter medication you
are taking before operating any motor
vehicle. Know what the effects of alcohol
or drugs will be if you combine them with
your medication.

Alcohol

Choosing to consume alcohol while
operating a motor vehicle is a decision that
carries a very high risk.

Drinking alcohol before and while
driving continues to be a major cause of
traffic deaths and injuries in Alberta.

From 2004 to 2008, each year
approximately 110 people died and
another 1,900 were injured in collisions
related to alcohol on Alberta highways.

106  A Driver's Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing

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