Startling Survey Reveals One In Six Drivers Has Fallen Asleep At The Wheel

Mon 14th May 2018

A shocking survey of 1,000 UK drivers has revealed that one in six drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel, with almost half of those surveyed admitted that they have driven dangerously due to tiredness.

The survey, by SmarWitness, has also discovered that a further 42 per cent of motorists have admitted driving while they were in danger of falling asleep at the wheel.

Men are more likely to risk the dangers than women, according to the survey, with just one in ten falling asleep compared to almost a quarter of men.

It is estimated that driver fatigue is responsible for one in five driver deaths every year and that tiredness-related collisions are three times more likely to be fatal because of the high impact speed and lack of avoiding action.

The research shows that almost nine out of ten drivers admit to driving while tired, going against Government warnings. Those who believe they can drive safely while tired often turn to methods such as opening the car window (48 per cent of drivers), having a coffee (37 per cent), chewing gum (24 per cent) and turning up the radio (16 per cent).

SmartWitness, who have developed technology to spot sleepiness at the wheel, say that UK’s employers must play a role.

SmartWitness chief executive Paul Singh said: “Driver fatigue is one of the biggest killers on our roads and we need to be doing far more to raise awareness of this major threat to road safety.

“Increase pressure on delivery schedules due to the internet has put more pressure on drivers to carrying on driving when drowsy and at risk of nodding off. This is as dangerous to other road users as drink driving or talking on your mobile phone.

“It is vital that employers recognise this problem and implement new technology to spot when their staff are too tired to drive, and alerts for the drivers so that they know themselves.”