Driving at night

Overtired drivers admit they have dozed at the wheel

Driving at nightA staggering 4 in 10 British drivers admit they have fallen asleep at the wheel – despite more than a quarter of serious car crashes being tiredness-related.

Indeed, over half of motorists say they ignore official guidance to take a break every two hours on long journeys: 1 in 5 drivers instead carry on even when they know they’re overtired.

More than a third have knowingly put themselves or others in danger because of this.

“Tired drivers are a huge danger to not only themselves but other drivers and passengers on the roads,” said Debbie Kirkley, co-founder of OSV vehicle leasing, who carried out the research.

Drivers “should always plan their journeys carefully to include regular rest breaks. A minimum of 15 minutes every two hours.”

Sadly, in reality, 81% only stop because they need the loo or are hungry: a mere 25% actually stop because they feel they’re tired.

More than three quarter of drivers counter tiredness behind the wheel by other means: drinking coffee or water, turning up the radio or eating. Solutions that are usually ineffective, says Kirkley.

It’s men who are more likely to driver overtired than women – although the research also shows it’s female drivers who are more likely to nod off or fall asleep at the wheel. Luckily, women are more sensible than men and, suggests research, are more likely to take regular breaks.