Road safety starts with a good sleep

Tired drivers much more likely to crash

tired driver

Get a good night sleep before you head off, that’s the message today from road safety advocates – GEM Motoring Assist.

Driving tired can be just as deadly as drink-driving, in fact, a U.S. study recently determined that up to a third of all fatal car crashes involve tired drivers.

Related: Four Car Tyre Maintenance ‘Must Do’s’

While a 2016 study by the National Sleep Foundation said drowsy driving was killing more than 6,000 people annually in the U.S. alone.

It was also found that 4% of Americans are regularly falling asleep at the wheel of their car.

The only remedy to fatigue is to rest and get a good night sleep, says GEM’s road safety officer Neil Worth.

“Being a safer driver means being physically and mentally prepared to drive.

“If we all got the amount of sleep we need, there would be fewer crashes, fewer near-crashes and fewer road rage incidents.

“Well-rested drivers are much more likely to remain alert; they see hazards developing earlier and they can react to them in good time.”

Tips for Reducing Driver Tiredness/Fatigue:

  • Give yourself the opportunity to get a good night’s sleep – preferably every night and certainly before you need to make a road journey
  • Understand that a sleep deficit of just a couple of hours can lead to irritability and can also increase someone’s likelihood to take irrational risks
  • Feeling drowsy in the middle of the day doesn’t make you lazy – for most people it’s a natural part of the daily cycle of sleep and wakefulness
  • Taking a short nap during the working day may not be a possibility for everyone, but it’s much better than relying on stimulant drinks to keep awake
  • For driving, fatigue is a serious risk, so don’t begin a long journey if you’re already tired.

Related: How to Prepare for a Family Road Trip

And what do you do if you feel sleepy while driving?

Neil says you just have to stop, regardless.

“Resting and drinking some coffee offers a possible short-term fix, but the only proper cure for sleepiness is good sleep.”




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