Tiredness

Young drivers are statistically more likely to crash because they are twice as likely to undertake a journey whilst feeling tired. One in four young drivers admit to continuing to drive while experiencing signs of fatigue, compared with one in eight of the rest of the population.

A cat nap – The Honest Truth about fatigue
  • If you’re tired, your reactions might be slower so you may not be in full control of your vehicle.
  • If you nodded off for 6 seconds whilst travelling at 70 mph on a motorway; you could travel nearly 200 meters which could be enough to take you across all 3 lanes of traffic and off the road.
  • Men under 30 are most at risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Collisions are most likely to occur in the early hours (between 2am – 6am) and after lunch (between 2pm – 4pm).
  • Big meals and alcohol can make you sleepy and affect your driving.
  • 20% of the collisions on the road are sleep related.
  • Young drivers are more likely to crash because they’re twice as likely to drive when tired.
  • 1 in 4 young drivers admit to continuing to drive whilst being tired; compare to 1 in 8 of the rest of the population.
  • Sleep related collisions tend to be more serious; with 50% more likelihood to result in death or serious injury.

 

KILLER FACT: Men under 30 are most at risk of falling asleep at the wheel.

What can you do to be a good driver?
A good driver is in control of themselves and their vehicle. Always.
  • Don’t start a long journey if you’re already tired.
  • Plan enough time into long journeys so you can grab a break now and again.
  • If you’re travelling with other people on a long journey, suggest that you all have appropriate insurance so that you can take turns driving.
  • If you’re stopping for a coffee, remember that caffeine is only a temporary fix and will need 10-15 minutes to get into your system and start to work.
  • Try to avoid trips late at night or early in the morning when you’re probably going to feel tired anyway.
  • Get plenty of sleep before a long journey.
  • If you feel really sleepy, find a place that’s safe for you to stop and rest (not the hard shoulder).
What’s the law?
There isn’t a specific law making it an offence to drive when you’re tired, but you’re more likely to commit another driving offence when sleepy.

What’s the punishment?
  • It depends on the driving offences committed.
  • Maximum penalty is up to 14 years imprisonment if you killed someone from falling asleep whilst driving; as this would be classed as causing a death by dangerous driving.