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One In Eight Motorists Admit To Having Fallen Asleep While Driving

The AA has launched a new campaign surrounding the dangers of driving when drowsy, after a new study found that:
  • One in eight drivers fell asleep behind the wheel
  • 25% of fatal crashes are sleep related
  • A 30 second nap while travelling at 60 MPH covers half a mile

The online poll of 20,561 drivers found that 37% say they have been so tired they have been scared they would fall asleep while driving.

This research follows publication of the latest Government road casualty statistics which show drowsy drivers contributed to 53 fatal and 351 serious crashes in 2017.

The AA Trust said it is widely accepted the true figure for fatigue-related crashes is much higher due to under-reporting. In fact, it is estimated that up to 25% of fatal accidents are caused by drivers who have fallen asleep at the wheel.

The research has been launched as part of a nationwide campaign by the AA Trust and FIA Foundation to alert drivers to the dangers of drowsy driving.

You can watch the advert here:

The AA Charitable Trust is calling on drivers to be alert to fatigue. It says that winding down the window or turning up the radio can be symptoms of tiredness and not an effective remedy. Tired drivers should stop as soon as they can safely, have two cups of coffee (or equivalent) and nap for 15 minutes.

Edmund King, AA Charitable Trust director, said: “One-quarter of fatal crashes are sleep-related so drowsiness is one of the most under-estimated risks on the roads.

“A driver who nods off for just three or four seconds on a motorway would have covered the length of a football pitch with closed eyes. A 30-second nap while travelling at 60mph covers half a mile; a terrifying thought.

“Simple measures can help alleviate the risks. Awareness of the problem is the first step, which is why we have launched this campaign and created an advert highlighting the dangers.

“Winding down the window, singing and turning up the radio are not remedies to tiredness – rather a symptom in themselves.

“If you feel tiredness creeping up on you when driving then stop and take a break.”

Dr Katharina Lederle, a sleep expert at Somnia and author of Sleep Sense, said: “The simple truth is the only long-term cure for sleepiness is sleep and drivers are not able to fight it off by opening the window or turning up the radio.

The top five reasons given for driving tired by respondents are: a long/hard day at work (39%); monotony of the journey (33%); late night driving (27%); trying to cover too much distance in one day (27%) and lack of sleep the night before (26%).

For more information about the campaign visit: