Driving Tired

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.

The Honest Truth about Driving Tired
  • 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.