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GEM: ‘wake up to the dangers of fatigue’

Friday 1st April 2016

GEM Motoring Assist is urging drivers to be ‘wise to the dangers of fatigue’ on journeys after a recent report confirmed it as a ‘major contributory factor’ in road crashes.

The ‘Fit to Drive’ report, published last month by PACTS, examines the impact of fatigue - a condition which earlier studies had “failed to identify” as a risk factor.

The report concludes that it is now “widely accepted that fatigue is a major contributory factor particularly in the early hours of the morning and on long distance journeys on major roads or motorways.”

On the back of this, GEM has released a short video on the dangers of fatigue (featured above).

David Williams MBE, chief executive, said: “It is now widely accepted that fatigue is a major contributory factor in road crashes, particularly in the early hours of the morning. Many thousands of collisions occur because of a driver’s reduced ability to respond quickly and safely if a dangerous situation arises.

“If you’re making a long road journey, then it’s vital to be properly rested before you set off – and to ensure you build in time for breaks on the way.”

The Highway Code offers specific advice to reduce the risk of being in a fatigue-related collision. Tips include proper journey planning, avoiding certain medications and times of day and night, and the importance of overnight stops on long trips.

GEM also points to statistics which show that around 85% of drivers who cause fatigue-related crashes are male, and more than one third of these are aged under 30 years.

David Williams MBE added: “It’s not only professional drivers at work who are at increased risk of a fatigue crash. If you’re making a long road journey to a holiday destination, or if you need to drive in the early hours of the morning to catch or return from a long-haul flight, then you are also at risk.

“Once again, planning is key to safety. Avoid alcohol if you know you need to drive, and consider stopping somewhere rather than risk a road journey if you have had very little sleep in the preceding 24 hours.”

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Pat, I think the dangers the report mentions with the early hours of the morning are not when you rise fresh after a night's rest, but when you extend driving into those times when our body clocks are telling us to be asleep.
David, Suffolk

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)
+3

Riding a bike can be tiring, but tiring as in physically wearing from wrestling a big bike through the bends and against the headwinds. After a couple of hundred miles like that I'm weary but 'wired' - definitely not sleepy. Motorways? I use the car for those.
Guzzi, Newport

Agree (6) | Disagree (1)
+5

Tiredness is a massively under appreciated danger but not necessarily at the times mentioned in the article. I don’t like driving late at night at the end of the day as I find concentration more challenging but a 4am or 5am start is not a problem as I'm fresh and alert. Motto: Know your own ‘low’ point and take action to manage it well.
Pat, Wales

Agree (7) | Disagree (0)
+7

It's not just car driver who should be aware of this danger. Motorcyclists can also become tired whilst riding. It is far more taxing than car driving and with the mileage that some riders undertake at one time its remarkable that more incidents don't occur. There are actual rides out there where riders are asked to undertake ridiculous mileages in one day or 24 hours or over a few days. Some motorcyclists brag about riding 800 miles to, say, catch a ferry. That is extremely dangerous.
R.Craven Blackpool

Agree (2) | Disagree (0)
+2