The last quarter of the year can be the most stressful, especially if you’re racing to complete your annual goals. That usually means less sleep to make the cut.

Research done by the South African Road Federation shows that drivers who miss between one or two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep in 24 hours almost double their risk of a crash. The research also shows that a driver who slept for less than five hours has the accident risk similar to someone who is driving drunk. Here’s what you can do to be safer on the road if you have missed some hours of sleep.

Avoid driving 

The best thing to do when you’re fatigued and sleep-deprived is not to drive at all. It may be inconvenient, but this is the best thing to do for your safety. Use the Gautrain or a cab service on such a day. Not only will you be safer, but we’ll also reward you with Safe Dayz™ if you use the train for all your travels on that day. 

• Don’t use cruise control; keep your body involved in the driving.
• Avoid listening to soft music.
• Switch radio stations frequently.
• Keep the temperature in the car cool.
• Avoid reclining your seat too much to avoid being too comfortable.

Not sure if you’re too tired to drive? Here are some signs to look out for: 

• Yawning continuously
• Drifting from lanes
• Impatience
• Heavy eyes
• Drifting into daydreams

You might also want to read this post on safety tips for driving at night.