One in eight drivers have ‘head-nodded’ while driving in the past year, according to research released by Brake, the road safety charity.
‘Head-nodding’ occurs when someone ‘nods off’ for between two and 30 seconds, often without realising they have been asleep, says Brake.
In the survey of more than 1,000 drivers, one in four admitted to embarking on a journey when they already felt drowsy.
86% fail to follow best practice advice on dealing with tiredness at the wheel – by stopping somewhere safe for a nap – and 29% continue their journey after they notice the first signs of drowsiness.
Brake presented the research results at a parliamentary reception on 13 July.
Julie Townsend, Brake’s campaigns director, said: “Driving a vehicle is a huge responsibility that must be taken seriously. That means stopping when we feel drowsy and certainly never starting a journey tired.
“We still have widespread misunderstanding of how to prevent driver tiredness, and ignorance about factors like sleep apnoea, a condition that can be treated.
“These messages still need to get through to the public, which is why we are calling for renewed efforts from the Government to tackle this issue urgently.”
For more information contact Ellen Booth, from Brake, on 01484 550067.