One in eight UK drivers has fallen asleep at the wheel, according to new research.
The frightening revelation comes as estimates suggest as many one in four fatal crashes are caused by someone falling asleep while driving.
The latest road casualty figures show that 53 fatal crashes last year involved a badly fatigued driver but a report by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety has estimated that up to 25 per cent of fatal accidents are caused by drivers who have fallen asleep while driving.
Scared to drive
The data was released as part of a campaign urging drivers to take the dangers of driving while tired seriously.
The AA Charitable Trust has released a new video showing how easy it is for drivers to fall asleep, with deadly consequences, and produced research to highlight how common a problem it is.
The top five reasons for driving tired
- A long/hard day at work (39%)
- Monotony of the journey (33%)
- Late night driving (27%)
- Trying to cover too much distance in one day (27%)
- Lack of sleep the night before (26%)
Its research found that as well as the 13 per cent of motorists who admitted falling asleep while driving a further 37 per cent said they had been so tired they had been scared they would fall asleep when driving.
Men are three times as likely as women to say they have fallen asleep at the wheel (17 per compared to 5 per cent) while young drivers, aged 18 to 24, are the most likely to say being very tired does not affect their driving ability, perhaps explaining why only a third (34 per cent) of them would stop for a break compared with more than half (57 per cent) of all drivers.
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