2013 News

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31 July 2013

60% Of Drivers Try Useless Tactics to Stop Nodding Off At the Wheel


The RSA, An Garda Síochána and Applegreen 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 and Applegreen launched a campaign this Bank Holiday weekend aimed at highlighting the dangers of driver fatigue. On Friday 2nd August Applegreen will provide free cups of coffee to drivers between 2pm and 8pm at 17 participating service stations around the country.

Drivers simply mention the ‘RSA’ to the till operator and they will receive a free cup of coffee on Friday to ensure they get to their destination safely.

International research suggests that driver fatigue could be a contributory factor in 1 in 5 driver deaths in Ireland*. Therefore, this silent 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; “We are delighted that Applegreen has joined with us on this Driver Reviver campaign. The company is making a very practical and worthwhile contribution to road safety and I would urge drivers, particularly any who are feeling tired to avail of their offer of free coffee on Friday. 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 sing 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.

The Director of Operations in Applegreen, Joe Barrett said: “We are delighted to contribute to the road safety effort in this country by running a Driver Reviver campaign on Friday 2nd August. All drivers have to do is mention the RSA to the till operator at any one of the 17 Applegreen participating stations and they will get a free cup of coffee! Signage at the coffee machines will remind drivers to avail of this offer this Friday 2nd August from 2pm – 8pm. Everyone at Applegreen is delighted to support the RSA, An Garda Síochána and all other state agencies involved in reducing traffic collisions on our roads.”

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 website www.rsa.ie. A copy of the RSA’s research on driver fatigue can also be downloaded from www.rsa.ie.


For further information, please contact:
Communications Office, Road Safety Authority – 096 25008 or
Brian Farrell, Communications Manager, Road Safety Authority – 086 3881009
Garda Press and Public Relations Office 6662032


Editor’s Notes

What to do if you are a tired driver?
2. When you start fighting sleep at the wheel, your impairment is as dangerous as driving over the legal alcohol limit.
3. Stop and take a nap for 15 minutes- (set your mobile phone alarm)
4. To really make the most of your break take a Caffeine drink before the nap (150mg of Caffeine e.g. 2 cups of coffee).
5. After the nap, get some fresh air and stretch your legs.
6. By following all of the above advice you should be able to drive for another hour or more.

August Bank Holiday 2009-2012

Type 2009 2010 2011 2012
Fatalities 3 3 2 0
Fatal Collisions 3 2 2 0
Serious Injuries 5 3 6 9
Serious Injury Collisions 7 0 5 5
MAT* Checkpoints 1,007 1,125 1,048 1,113
Driving while intoxicated 300 250 201 178

* Mandatory Alcohol Testing

1Facebook Survey Results
The survey, which was conducted by the RSA on its Facebook page on Monday 29th July to Wednesday 31st July, questioned over 233 drivers to determine the type of countermeasures used to tackle driver fatigue.

Applegreen Participating Driver Reviver Stops
There are 17 commuter locations participating in the free offer between 2pm and 8pm on Friday 2nd August as outlined below:

The 17 sites are:
1. Lusk Southbound Motorway Service Area
2. Lusk Northbound Motorway Service Area
3. Castlebellingham Southbound Motorway Service Area
4. Castlebellingham Northbound Motorway Service Area
5. Enfield Westbound Motorway Service Area
6. Enfield Eastbound Motorway Service Area
7. Applegreen Rathcoole
8. Applegreen M1 Balbriggan
9. Applegreen Gormonston
10. Applegreen Julianstown
11. Applegreen Ashbourne
12. Applegreen Athlone
13. Applegreen Cavan
14. Applegreen Rathnew
15. Applegreen Ferns
16. Applegreen Kinsalebeg
17. Applegreen Newcastlewest

Find out more details of the locations and details of the giveaway on Applegreen’s website



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