Road Safety News
 

Drivers failing to prioritise alertness on long journeys

Tuesday 21st July 2015

Many drivers undertaking a long journey do not consider taking a rest break essential “unless they have a pressing reason”, according to a survey by the IAM.

In the survey of more than 1,700 drivers, 65% said they do not take rest breaks on the motorway because they don’t feel they have any need to; while 79% said they only stop if a service area is conveniently located.

The IAM says the survey findings suggest that “many drivers fail to prioritise their wellbeing and alertness when they are behind the wheel simply because they don’t take regular breaks on long journeys”.

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “Where drivers avoid taking rest breaks at a motorway service station, simply because they want to reach a destination quicker, (they) raise the risk of making several mistakes and being involved in an incident.

“Although participants have expressed an interest towards self-serving picnic and toilet sites, drivers must be encouraged to take regular breaks every two hours at any type of service station.

“Take a bottle of water with you before embarking on a long journey, keep hydrated throughout and allow for some much-needed rest.”

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The last sentence in this report suggests that the IAM support drinking water from a bottle behind the wheel! Whereas I hope they are supporting the Loughborough University study that revealed that even mild dehydration is equivalent to being over the drink driving limit in terms of driver errors. Paragraph 91 of the Highway Code advises a 15 minute break every 2 hours not a half hour rest after a 4 hour journey! Advice to drink coffee when tired also appears!
Peter Westminster

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