GEM Motoring Assist, a road safety and breakdown recovery organisation in the UK is encouraging drivers to get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel. A message we have all tried to preach all the time, yet fallen on deaf ears especially with long-haul drivers!
Research in the United States alone showed that between 15 – 35% of fatal crashes involved tired drivers and worryingly enough, 4% of Americans have fallen asleep behind the wheel in data collected in previous months. New figures acquired from Ireland also suggest that fatigue makes up 20% of driver deaths.
GEM, road safety officer, Neil Worth says: “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 and in better moods; they see hazards developing earlier and they can react quicker to it.
He also added, “On the other hand, fatigue among drivers is one of our greatest public health threats. Work pressures can keep many people awake at night, yet the same pressures require them to be up and out early in the morning, in control of a heavy machine that’s travelling at high speed and capable of doing enormous damage.
“Depriving someone of sleep makes them moody and irrational. That’s why many road rage incidents in the morning rush hour are likely to relate to people who simply didn’t get a good night’s sleep.”
Here are some pointers from GEM to be a disciplined and prudent driver on the road and less of a douchebag:
- Give yourself a good night’s sleep – preferably every night and certainly before you need to make a road journey
- Shortage of sleep of just a couple of hours makes you easily irritated and increases the likelihood of taking irrational risks
- Taking a short nap where possible
- Don’t begin a long journey if you’re already tired.
- Stop as soon as it’s safe if you’re tired or sleepy. Resting and drinking some coffee offers a possible short-term fix.
- The only proper cure for sleepiness is good sleep.
Video Credit: www.motoringassist.com/fatigue
Image Credit: CabSnoozer