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A good night's sleep helps keep you alert on the road

13 September 2017

BREAKDOWN AND road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging drivers to ensure they get sufficient sleep before getting behind the wheel.  GEM says this will not only help them feel better, but will also make a significant contribution to reducing the risks they face on the road.

Recent research from the United States* shows that between 15 and 33 per cent of fatal crashes involve tired drivers, and that a worrying four per cent of Americans admit to having fallen asleep while driving within the previous month.

Additionally, new figures from Ireland suggest that tiredness is a factor in up to 20 per cent of driver deaths.

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth says: “Being a safer driver means being physically and mentally prepared to drive. If we all got the amount of sleep we need, there would be fewer crashes, fewer near-crashes and fewer road rage incidents. Well-rested drivers are much more likely to remain alert; they see hazards developing earlier and they can react to them in good time.

“We all feel better when we wake up after a good night's sleep, and we're more alert. We respond more quickly and our reaction times are faster. We perform better, we retain information better, and our moods are better after good sleep.

“On the other hand, fatigue among drivers is one of our greatest public health threats. Work pressures can keep many people awake at night, yet the same pressures require them to be up and out early in the morning, in control of a heavy machine that's travelling at high speed and capable of doing enormous damage.

“Depriving someone of sleep makes them moody and irrational. That's why many road rage incidents in the morning rush hour are likely to relate to people who simply didn't get a good night's sleep.”

GEM offers the following advice for avoiding the risks associated with fatigue:

GEM's short video on understanding the dangers of fatigue is available at www.motoringassist.com/fatigue

Follow GEM on Twitter @MotoringAssist for the latest industry news.

Source: Motoring Assist