Driver fatigue

Driver fatigue

Fatigue is the physical and mental impairment brought about by inadequate rest over a period of time. Ideally, people need 7/8 hours’ sleep every night. Drivers suffering from a sleep debt are at risk of ‘nodding off’ whilst driving and substantially increasing their risk of being involved in a crash. It is estimated that driver fatigue is a contributory factor in as many as 1 in 5 driver deaths in Ireland every year. Furthermore, tiredness-related collisions are 3 times more likely to be fatal or result in a serious injury because of the high impact speed and lack of avoiding action. A survey* of drivers’ attitudes to driver fatigue conducted by the RSA in 2014 revealed that over 1 in 10 motorists have fallen asleep at the wheel.  The survey also found that motorists who drive as part of their work, and motorists who admit to driving after taking any amount of alcohol, had a higher than average incidence of falling asleep at the wheel (almost 1 in 5 fell asleep at the wheel). 

As part of the new campaign the RSA produced its first 40” TV-led advertising campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of driver fatigue. The ad which provides drivers with advice on what to do if they feel sleepy while driving. If a driver fights sleep while driving, it’s the same as driving while over the drink drive limit. The message behind the ad is to recognise the signs that you are too tired to continue driving, and then Stop, Sip, Sleep – Stop the car in a safe place, Sip a caffeine drink, and Sleep for 15-20 minutes. This should enable you to continue driving for another hour or so.

The RSA have the following advice for tired drivers:

  • Stop, park in a safe place and take a nap for 15 minutes (set your mobile phone alarm). This is the most important tactic.
  • To really make the most of the break, take a caffeine drink before the nap (150mg of caffeine e.g. 2 cups of coffee). After the nap, the caffeine should have started to take effect.
  • Then get some fresh air and stretch your legs for a few minutes.
  • By following all of the above advice you should be able to drive for another hour or so.

The campaign will provide motorists with advice on what to do if they begin to feel tired while they are driving. The new driver fatigue ad will air this Thursday 30 July during the RTÉ Six One News at 6:20pm. It will be supported by a national and local radio, digital, social, cinema and outdoor campaign. More information on driver fatigue is available at www.rsa.ie

The advert can be viewed below and on the RSA’s YouTube page at Driver Fatigue

 

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Driver Fatigie 'Signs'

Radio Ads

Statistics

 The dangers of driving while tired:

  • Driver fatigue is a contributory factor in 1 in 5 driver deaths in Ireland every year.
  • A survey* of drivers’ attitudes to driver fatigue (2014) by the RSA revealed that over 1 in 10 motorists have fallen asleep at the wheel.
  • It also revealed that motorists who drive as part of their work, and motorists who admit to driving after taking any amount of alcohol, had a higher than average incidence of falling asleep at the wheel (almost 1 in 5 fell asleep at the wheel).
  • Tiredness related collisions are 3 times more likely to result in death or serious injury