Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging drivers to be wise to the dangers of fatigue on journeys. The risks are particularly high among those who drive for their work, says GEM, as they are likely to be at the wheel for long periods, or with tight deadlines to meet in the course of a day.
GEM road safety officer Neil Worth comments: “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.”
Statistics show that those most at risk from a fatigue-related collision include young male drivers, shift workers, truck drivers and company car drivers. Around 85 per cent of drivers who cause fatigue-related crashes are male, and more than one third of these are aged under 30^.
Neil Worth concludes: “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.”
GEM’s tips will help any driver reduce the risk of being in a fatigue-related collision.
GEM Motoring Assist provides two levels of recovery service; Recovery EXTRA and Recovery RECLAIM, to suit all needs and pockets. GEM provides a unique, comprehensive and competitively-priced Roadside Assistance and Vehicle Recovery Service. GEM has been voted number one for Breakdown Cover, or has been a close runner up, in the Auto Express Driver Power Survey for the last 12 years. GEM breakdown cover has also been awarded a 5 star rating by Defaqto, meaning GEM provides one of the highest quality offerings in the market. In May 2018, GEM became a Which? Recommended Provider after coming first in their survey of breakdown recovery providers. GEM Motoring Assist was established in 1932, as an independent driver-based road safety association. GEM's aim is to improve safety for all road users through the sponsorship and initiation of accident prevention measures throughout the UK and to provide motoring and safety information to its own members. Member benefits include a quarterly magazine, free literature and advice and discounts on insurances and other services. https://www.motoringassist.com
*Figures from Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents ^Figures from Brake