Skip advert
Advertisement

One in eight admit to falling asleep when driving

A further 37 per cent said they’d been so tired they feared nodding off; fatigue blamed for an estimated 53 fatalities in 2017

Drivers sleeping in cars to save on fuel

One in eight drivers say they have fallen asleep behind the wheel, according to new research.

A survey of over 20,000 drivers found a further 37 per cent saying they had been so tired they feared they might nod off. An estimated 53 fatal and 351 serious accidents were caused by tired drivers in 2017, with fatigue thought to be a factor in around a quarter of crashes.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The AA Charitable Trust conducted a survey of 20,561 motorists and found 17 per cent of men have fallen asleep at the wheel compared to just five per cent of women.

New roads to be designed with eye-catching views to stop drivers falling asleep

The data also revealed that motorists aged 18 to 24 are most likely to say tiredness does not affect their driving ability – 13 per cent compared with two per cent average – while they’re also the most likely to carry on driving regardless of tiredness – 18 per cent compared to three per cent average.

Of the drivers surveyed, 57 per cent stopped for a break as soon as they realised they might be too tired to drive – compared with 34 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds – 36 per cent said they felt fine when they started their journey and the drowsiness took them by surprise – higher among 18 to 24-year-olds at 45 per cent.

Some 11 per cent knew they were tired when they began their journey – 29 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds, 15 per cent of women and nine per cent of men. Finally, 23 per cent said they had been driving for more than two hours without a break when they were affected by tiredness – 25 per cent of men and 19 per cent of women.

• UK drink driving laws explained

The top five reasons given for driving tired are a long and/or hard day at work (39 per cent), the monotony of a journey (33 per cent), late night driving (27 per cent), trying to cover too much distance in one day (27 per cent) and lack of sleep the night before (26 per cent).

AA charitable trust director and president of the AA Edmund King illustrated the figures by explaining: “A driver who nods off for just three or four seconds on a motorway would have covered the length of a football pitch with closed eyes. A 30-second nap while travelling at 60mph covers half a mile – a terrifying thought.”

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Mercedes says ‘no thank you’ to EQ: EV brand to be axed
Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 - EQS badge
News

Mercedes says ‘no thank you’ to EQ: EV brand to be axed

Mercedes will roll back EQ branding for its electric cars as the first generation of EV models reaches the end of its lifecycle.
15 May 2024
UK faces “epidemic” of young uninsured drivers
Car crash
News

UK faces “epidemic” of young uninsured drivers

The number of young people convicted of driving without insurance has tripled since 2021, due to sky-rocketing premiums
17 May 2024
Car Deal of the Day: SEAT Leon is an ideal family hatchback for £165 a month
SEAT Leon TSI EVO - front tracking
News

Car Deal of the Day: SEAT Leon is an ideal family hatchback for £165 a month

Excellent interior quality and efficiency make the SEAT Leon our Deal of the Day for 17 May
17 May 2024