THE DANGERS OF DRIVING WHILST SLEEP DEPRIVED
When our learner drivers are asked what the biggest causes are of road deaths, they tend to answer with drink driving, driving whilst on a mobile phone or speeding.
One thing they almost certainly won’t come back with is sleep deprivation, and yet it is one of the biggest killers!
SO WHAT ARE THE STATISTICS?
We would all like to think that we’ve paid full attention on our driving lessons and it’s only the intentionally negligent that are at the root of our roads death tolls. Recent studies show that around 15% of road accidents are caused by drivers being tired.
Because when a driver is fatigued, they often don’t react until the accident has actually happened, meaning these accidents are more likely than others to result in serious injury or death.
WHO CAN IT EFFECT?
More than 35% of accidents attributed to some form of sleep deprivation involve commercial vehicles. Given the great demand on deliveries in this “I WANT IT NOW” world, this is probably to be expected.
However, another sleep-deprived dynamic posing the greatest risk are believed to be men under 30.
Given that learner drivers now have an average starting age of 26 years old, it is vitally important that learners heed driving advice on how to avoid accidents caused by tiredness.
How to overcome feeling tired when driving?
There are very clear guidelines that will help learner drivers avoid getting into bother through sleep deprivation.
- Get loads of rest before you plan on taking on a long journey.
- Take regular breaks on longer journeys. The recommendation is that a break of 20 minutes is required at least every two hours.
- Drink some coffee! Coffee isn’t predictable in the same way that caffeine fuelled energy drinks are, so the latter are the best option. But this is only a temporary measure and so should only be used to get you to the next decent opportunity to stop.
- Stop and have a sleep. A short sleep will do more to aid your tiredness than a wander round the service station, usually spending a small fortune!
The laws may not find it easy to prove tiredness as a cause of an accident, but if there are witnesses, then an otherwise law-abiding citizen can face the same full penalty under the law that another driver would if found guilty of causing death by dangerous or careless driving.
It might sound a tad overwhelming, but at our Blackpool Driving School we can provide you with all the advice and help you need to avoid falling into the tiredness trap.