Six million motorists almost fell asleep at the wheel last year

09.39 | 17 July 2009 |

More than six million British motorists admitted they’d fallen into a slumber while driving in the last 12 months, according to research by Kwik Fit.

The research found that 10% of motorists felt ‘drowsy whilst driving’ and a further 3% said they’d been on the verge of falling asleep behind the wheel.

Drivers shouldered most of the responsibility for their tiredness themselves, with 41% blaming the monotony of the journey for their stupor. A further 39% cited a general ‘lack of sleep’ and 32% blamed too few breaks on their journey.

According to the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University driver fatigue causes up to 20% of collisions on ‘monotonous’ roads.

David White, customer services director at Kwik-Fit, said: “Staying awake while driving is largely a matter of driver discipline. Taking regular breaks, making sure you get enough sleep the night before a long journey and stopping for a sleep if you are tired are all imperative.

“However, our research shows that a fully functioning air conditioning unit might help to prevent you from feeling drowsy in the first place.”

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