Tired And Thirsty?

6 Mar 2017

Did you know that driver fatigue can be as dangerous as drink-driving? Similar to the effects of alcohol, tiredness reduces vigilance, alertness and concentration. It causes thousands of road accidents each year, and research shows that it is a contributory factor in up to 20% of traffic collisions, and up to a quarter of fatal and serious accidents.

It’s not just fatigue that mimics drink-driving. Dehydration also causes the same impairments to your driving ability. Delayed reaction times, lack of alertness and poor concentration are all effects that are comparable to being over the limit.

Most of us wouldn’t dream of getting behind the wheel after a couple of drinks, thanks to years of campaigning and legal enforcement. However, many drivers don’t give much thought to sleep and fluid intake as a safety issue. Almost half of all UK drivers surveyed admitted to having driven after less than five hours sleep. While it’s not illegal to be tired or thirsty, if they are affecting your driving then it’s still possible to be charged with Dangerous Driving, Careless and Inconsiderate Driving, Failure To Be In Proper Control Of The Vehicle, or Driving Without Due Care And Attention.

Making sure you have sufficient rest, especially before a long journey, or one that is very early or late in the day, is vital. Taking breaks at least every 2 hours is the recommended minimum. Do ensure that you drink plenty of fluids. Around 2 litres is the guidance from health experts, with water ideally making up the bulk of that.

For further advice on how to avoid driver fatigue, visit our webpage http://www.somersetroadsafety.org/page/fatigue/67/

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