Shocking Number Of Drivers Admit To Driving While Fatigued -Solicitors Respond
27th September 2013
Personal injury solicitors see road traffic accident claims caused by tiredness all the time, government campaigns are constantly reinforcing the messages of the dangers of driving while fatigued, and our no win no fee solicitors are constantly blogging about motor vehicle accidents caused by tiredness and methods drivers can use to reinvigorate themselves.
But despite this, the proportion of drivers that ignore this safety advice and put themselves, their families and other road users at unnecessary risk is huge. In fact, research from Direct Line and Brake found that 55% of all drivers do not take a rest break at least once every two hours while taking a long journey, with 9% admitting that they don’t pull over and rest on long journeys unless they “absolutely have to”.
No win no fee solicitors would point out that stopping to rest is a necessity in every long journey, and drivers should realise that they “absolutely have to” do so every time they’re behind the wheel for more than two hours.
But the dangers posed by fatigue on the road are even greater than these statistics indicate, as the research also found that 45% of people say they do not ensure they have at least seven hours sleep when going for a long drive. This indicates that there is a huge proportion of people who not only drive for long stretches without breaks, but even do so when they are tired from the day before.
Falling asleep at the wheel is not an uncommon factor in car accident compensation claims, but personal injury solicitors also see cases in which people have lost concentration or reacted slowly to obstructions or unexpected occurrences. Even when people manage to stay awake, fatigue appears to reduce their driving ability just as much as drunkenness, and can therefore also be used to determine liability in motor vehicle accident claims.
Fatigue Causing Car Accident Compensation Claims
The research also found that men are more likely to put themselves at risk of motor vehicle accidents caused by fatigue than women are – while 14% of male drivers said they had driven for more than six hours without having a rest, only 3% of female drivers said the same. Furthermore, half (50%) of all male drivers polled said they had driven for at least four hours without resting, while 31% of females said they had done so.
While 38% of males said that if they begin to feel sleepy at the wheel, they try to push on and continue driving, 31% of females said the same. As a result, more than one-third (35%) of drivers admitted to continuing on a journey when becoming dangerously fatigued.
Our no win no fee solicitors would remind people to protect the health and safety of themselves, their family and the general public by taking regular rest brakes, especially when they begin to feel tired. Long, monotonous stretches of motorway can easily cause people to lose focus or to even fall asleep. While resting every two hours may increase journey times, this slight delay is well worth a person’s safety.