One In Three Drowsy Driving Accidents Ends In Death

Mon 1st Jul 2019

Shocking new research has revealed the number of deaths or fatalities which are caused by tired drivers having their driving impaired by falling asleep at the wheel.

The AA Charitable Trust has found that in 2017 there were 22 deaths and 132 serious injuries which were the result of fatigue causing driver impairment.

Drivers dozing off behind the wheel of a vehicle often have far more serious consequences as the driver is unable to slow down as they are not in control of the vehicle as they fall asleep.

The same research has found that one in eight drivers actually admit to falling asleep at the wheel. 

The National Sleep Foundation has the following tips to avoid falling asleep at the wheel.

  • The pre-drive nap: taking a short nap before a road trip can help make up for a short night's sleep.

  • The mid-drive nap: if you find yourself drowsy while driving, pull over to take a short nap of 20 minutes. Make sure you are in a safe location and remember you'll be groggy for 15 minutes or so after waking up.

  • The Buddy system: It's safest to drive with a partner on long trips. Pull over every two hours and switch drivers, while the other takes a nap if possible.

  • Don't rush. Better to arrive at your destination safe than on time.

  • Do not drink alcohol. Even very small amounts of alcohol will enhance drowsiness.

  • Don't drive between midnight and 6 a.m. Because of your body's biological rhythm, this is a time when sleepiness is most intense.

  • Drink caffeine: caffeine improves alertness, although be aware that the effects of caffeine will wear off after several hours.

Edmund King, AA Charitable Trust director, said: "Drowsy driving is the hidden killer on our roads and, due to it being under-reported, the true picture is estimated to be even worse than these figures show.

"Our own research has shown one in eight drivers admit to falling asleep when driving. Falling asleep at the wheel, even for just a few seconds, is incredibly dangerous.

"Crashes involving a drowsy driver tend to be catastrophic because a driver who is asleep does not brake or steer away from anything.

"Awareness of the dangers is key to start solving the problem. Put simply, drivers need to wake up to the dangers that drowsy driving poses."