Car Tips & Advice 07/02/2020

Exhausted drivers ‘pose a significant safety threat’, experts warn

Statistics show that young male drivers, shift workers and truck drivers are amongst those at risk of fatigue-related incidents on the road.

Exhausted drivers ‘pose a significant safety threat’, according to an expert at a leading recovery firm.

Neil Worth, GEM Motoring Assist road safety officer, has warned of the dangers of driving while tired. He said: “Exhausted drivers pose a significant safety threat, to themselves, to their passengers and to others who share the same road space. Fatigue is a major contributory factor in around 20 per cent of road crashes, particularly in the early hours of the morning. However, on long, monotonous stretches of motorway it’s likely that a much greater proportion of collisions will be fatigue-related.

“Collisions occur when an exhausted driver fails to respond quickly and safely if a dangerous situation arises. These collisions are typically around 50 per cent more likely to result in death or serious injury, as the driver is unable to take avoiding action to reduce severity of an impact.”

man yawning in a car

According to figures from road safety charity Brake, around 85 per cent of drivers who cause fatigue-related crashes are male, with more than a third of those under the age of 30. Its also said shift worked, truck drivers and company car drivers are among those most at risk.


Worth added: “Think about situations where you may be at increased risk of a collision because you’re tired. It may be the length of the journey you’re making that puts you at risk, but it could be your general state of alertness before you get behind the wheel. “Crucially, when you’re driving, you will know when you’re starting to feeling sleepy – it won’t just suddenly happen. So, don’t ignore the warnings your body is giving you. Make the decision to stop driving as soon as it’s safe and practical. Giving yourself a proper break could make the difference not just for your own safety, but for the safety of those around you.”

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