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.”