Don’t fall asleep at the wheel

Young male drivers are the group most commonly involved in sleep-related road accidents. Driving tired may be responsible for up to 25% of all fatal and serious accidents on major roads.

Drivers still fall asleep despite the warning signs

Driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs is acknowledged as being selfish and dangerous, but driving whilst tired can be equally as dangerous and is the cause of many fatal accidents.

More the pity is those drivers who fall asleep at the wheel, already knowing they are feeling too tired to drive but continuing to do so. They try to keep awake  by opening windows, turning up the radio, or just talking to themselves.

These measures are temporary and should only be used in an emergency – they will not work for long.

This driver just fell asleep

He had no idea of what was about to happen in this video by ThinkUK.

Reduce the risk of falling asleep at the wheel

Follow these guidelines especially before long journeys or night driving:

  • Avoid setting out on a long drive after having worked a full day.
  • Ensure you are well rested and feeling fit and healthy. (Do not drive if you are taking medication which will harm your driving.)
  • Plan your journey to take sufficient breaks – a minimum rest of at least 15 minutes after every two hours of driving is recommended.
  • Avoid driving during the period when you would normally be falling asleep.
  • If you feel sleepy stop in a safe place. Note: a motorway hard shoulder is not a safe place.
  • The most effective ways to counter sleepiness are to drink, for example, two cups of caffeinated coffee and to take a short nap (up to 15 minutes).
  • Be extra careful when driving between 2pm and 4pm (especially after having eaten a meal or drunk any alcohol).
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