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Did you know?

Best Practice Tips

Did you know?

  • 1 in 5 accidents are caused by tiredness.
  • Peak times for fatigue-related crashes are within the hours of 02.00-06.00 and 14.00-16.00.
  • Sleeping just 4-5 hours a night for a week impairs performance to the same extent as being legally over the alcohol limit.

83% of van drivers feel more tired in the autumn and winter.
1 in 5 people suffer some form of sleep problem affecting their driving ability by impairing coordination, judgment ability and memory and causing longer reaction times.

Whilst driving when tired is not an offence, it does increase the chance of drivers committing other driving related offences or causing a serious or fatal collision.

 

A driver who is awake for 24 hours is
7 times more likely to have an accident.

Best Practice Tips

  • Have adequate sleep before starting your journey.
  • Avoid heavy meals before starting driving.
  • Plan a 15-minute break for every two hours of driving.
  • Avoid taking medication that causes drowsiness.
  • Stop in a safe place and take a break at the first sign of tiredness.
  • Drink two cups of coffee or an equivalent caffeinated drink.
  • Take a short nap of around 15-20 minutes.

Driving when tired or unwell impairs judgement and reaction time causing drivers to react slowly, brake late and is a major factor in a lot of rear end incidents. It also affects coordination resulting in a variance in speed – slowing down and speeding up. Tired drivers also have what is known as microsleeps, which last from a fraction of a second to 2 seconds. At 56mph a van travels 25m/sec, so microsleeping for 2 seconds means 50m of unconscious travel.

Motorways and dual carriageways are the most common roads for sleep-related road incidents, due to the monotonous road environment and lack of interruptions. Crashes caused by drivers falling asleep involve vehicles running off the road or into the back of another vehicle. They tend to be high-speed impact incidents and the risk of death or serious injury is high.

This information sheet is free for employers to download and distribute to their drivers.
It may not be amended in any way | Copyright 2021 National Highways.