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Research raises concerns over driving while tired

Date: 16 June 2021   |   Author: Sean Keywood

One-in-ten drivers have momentarily closed their eyes behind the wheel due to tiredness, according to IAM Roadsmart.

A survey by the road safety charity also found that more than half of drivers were very concerned about fatigue when driving long distances.

In addition, one-in-ten admitted they had hit the rumble strip while driving tired, while four-out-of-ten had turned down the heating or rolled down the windows to stop themselves feeling tired.

IAM Roadsmart director of policy and research Neil Greig said: "Fatigue behind the wheel is a very serious problem, perhaps more concerning than previously thought of.

"It is shocking to think a potential four million drivers have closed their eyes behind the wheel because they were so tired, even if it was just for a short time. The potential carnage that could result from even one accident doesn't bear thinking about."

The survey also found that around a quarter of drivers had pulled over for a rest and-or a cup of coffee.

Greig said: "Driving a long distance needs pre-planning to ensure there are plenty of available rest places and to make sure there's enough time to complete the journey if delays are encountered. 

"Never drive for longer than two hours without a break and take particular care if driving when you would normally be asleep. This is even more important as the country reopens after the pandemic and not all facilities may be available yet.

"Drivers can then concentrate on staying alert behind the wheel rather than staving off tiredness by trying to reach their end destination without adequate rest breaks."