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NewsHealthMillions of drivers have fallen asleep behind the wheel, study reveals

Millions of drivers have fallen asleep behind the wheel, study reveals

Four million drivers have momentarily fallen asleep behind the wheel, reveals shocking new research.

The results will set alarm bells ringing amongst road safety experts as even the briefest lapse in concentration when driving can have devastating consequences.

The study paints a worrying picture of fatigue among motorists as 1-in-10 surveyed admitted to momentarily closing their eyes because they were so tired.

driving - Research News Scotland
Photo by Jaromír Kavan on Unsplash. At 70mph a car travels over 100 feet every second.

Furthermore, more than half of drivers also said they were very concerned about fatigue when driving long distances.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy & Research, said: “Fatigue behind the wheel is a very serious problem, perhaps more concerning than previously thought of.

“It is shocking to think a potential four million drivers have closed their eyes behind the wheel because they were so tired, even if it was just for a short time.

“The potential carnage that could result from even one accident doesn’t bear thinking about.”

driving - Research News Scotland
Photo by Samuele Errico Piccarini on Unsplash. Over 20 million drivers have been very concerned about fatigue while driving.

Other results from the research also highlighted that millions of drivers have succumbed to tiredness when driving, with 1-in-10 admitting they had hit the rumble strip, while 4-in-10 had turned down the heating or rolled down the windows in order to stop them from being tired.

Neil added: “Driving a long distance needs pre-planning to ensure there are plenty of available rest places and to make sure there’s enough time to complete the journey if delays are encountered.

coffee - Research News Scotland
Photo by Jakub Dziubak on Unsplash. On a slightly more positive note, around a quarter of drivers had pulled over for a rest and/or a coffee.

“Never drive for longer than two hours without a break and take particular care if driving when you would normally be asleep.

“This is even more important as the country reopens after the pandemic and not all facilities may be available yet.

“Drivers can then concentrate on staying alert behind the wheel rather than staving off tiredness by trying to reach their end destination without adequate rest breaks.”

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