Interesting data from Brake today regarding driver fatigue. According to the road safety charity more than half of drivers fail to follow guidance to take rest breaks every two hours on long journeys. A poll of drivers showed that 14% of male motorists had driven for six hours or more without stopping. This was compared to just 3% of female drivers.
Our own work, and that of others including TRL, also illustrate the problems.
Officially, fatigue is reported as a factor in just two percent of all accidents but the best estimates are that the real figure is ten times greater. Not only that, tiredness-related crashes tend to be more severe as drivers are clearly unable to take evasive action when faced with the prospect of a collision.
Young drivers are especially susceptible to fatigue as they seem to suffer more from sleep deprivation than their older counterparts.
Tiredness is also known to be a big problem for those who drive as part of their job. Given that one in three of all road related injures is suffered by someone driving during the course of work there is a huge challenge for employers to protect their staff not least by ensuring they have enough breaks to remain alert.
There is a strong argument for introducing more rest areas on motorways as are common on the continent. These are not full blow service areas but frequent points where people can simply pull in and take a break.