Posted By Cormac Sheridan ~ 31st July 2013
60% Of Drivers Try Useless Tactics to Stop Nodding Off At the Wheel
The RSA, An Garda Síochána announce Driver Reviver Campaign to combat driver fatigue
Bank Holiday Warning also focuses on Motorcycle Safety
New survey findings1 released by the Road Safety Authority today Wednesday 31st July 2013 shows that almost two thirds of drivers (60%) attempt to fight tiredness while driving through ineffective means such as opening windows, singing or talking to themselves and turning on the radio.
The findings come as the RSA, An Garda Síochána launched a campaign this Bank Holiday weekend aimed at highlighting the dangers of driver fatigue.
International research suggests that driver fatigue could be a contributory factor in 1 in 5 driver deaths in Ireland*. Therefore, thissilent killer could have been a contributory factor in almost 215 road deaths in the past 5 years.
Commenting ahead of the August Bank Holiday Weekend the Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport, Mr. Leo Varadkar T.D., urged road users to be extra vigilant. “Five people lost their lives over the June Bank Holiday weekend. We should all redouble our efforts to avoid a repeat this bank holiday. If you feel tired, then pull over and take a break. We are also asking drivers this weekend to watch out for changeable road conditions with the changing weather. Please enjoy the weekend, but do so safely.”
Noel Brett, Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority said; “As with every bank holiday weekend, there are added risks when using our roads. More people will be taking to the roads, travelling long distances, often without breaks. Scientific studies show that if a driver persists in fighting sleep while driving, the impairment level is the same as driving while over the drink drive limit.”
“To drivers we say; if you are fighting sleep at the wheel, stop immediately. If you can, drink a cup of coffee or caffeine drink but most importantly take a 15 to 20 minute nap. Following the nap stretch your legs and get some fresh air. By following this advice you should be able to drive for another hour or more.”
Unfortunately, this new research indicates that a third of drivers (31%) respond to feeling sleepy while driving by opening the window, 12.6% said they stretched their legs, 8% reported that they sign or talk to themselves or a passenger and 5% said they turned on the radio. None of these help in combating driver fatigue. In fact, these are the people who are most at risk of being involved in a driver fatigue related crash. Never drive if you are fighting sleep or you may never wake up.” continued Mr. Brett.
Commenting on the Garda Roads Policing Plan for the Bank Holiday Weekend, Assistant Commissioner Gerard Philips said, “Tragically five lives were lost over the recent June Bank Holiday weekend. To prevent further loss of life this bank holiday period members of the Garda Traffic Corps will be out in force targeting all aspects of road traffic enforcement with particular emphasis on speeding, drink and drug driving, non wearing of seatbelts, mobile phones use and reckless driving.”
Commissioner Phillips added:- “I would have a particular message for motorcycle riders who have featured too prominently in road collision casualty figures recently. Tragically 17 motorcyclists have already been killed this year compared to 16 in total for 2012. Our message is simple. Please be aware that you are considerably more vulnerable on a motorcycle, slow down and don’t take chances, such as reckless overtaking, undertaking or filtering. Drivers too, need to be aware of their blind spots and be constantly on the look out for motorcycles at junctions and especially when turning right.
More information on driver tiredness can be found in the RSA’s booklet ‘Driver Tiredness – The Facts’ and can be downloaded from the RSA websitewww.rsa.ie. A copy of the RSA’s research on driver fatigue can also be downloaded fromwww.rsa.ie.