A NEW SURVEY has found that almost two-thirds of drivers try to fight tiredness while on the road through the use of ineffective techniques like opening the window, singing, talking to themselves or turning on the radio.
The new findings come as the Road Safety Authority, gardaí and Applegreen service stations launch a new campaign to highlight the dangers of driver fatigue ahead of the Bank Holiday Weekend.
Driver fatigue could be a contributory factor in as many as a fifth of driver deaths in Ireland according to a researcher from Loughborough University in the UK. This would mean that over 200 deaths in the past five years are as a result of fatigue.
“Five people lost their lives over the June Bank Holiday weekend. We should all redouble our efforts to avoid a repeat this bank holiday. If you feel tired, then pull over and take a break,” Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said in a statement.
“We are also asking drivers this weekend to watch out for changeable road conditions with the changing weather. Please enjoy the weekend, but do so safely.”
Take a nap
The Road Safety Authority’s advice is that if you are fighting sleep at the wheel, stop immediately, drink a cup of coffee if you can, but most importantly take a 15 to 20 minute nap. After this you should stretch your legs and get some fresh air.
Research carried out by the RSA on its Facebook page earlier this week found that of 233 people surveyed 31 per cent responded to feeling sleepy while driving by opening the window.
Nearly 13 per cent said they stretched their legs, eight per cent reported that they sang or talked to themselves or a passenger and five per cent said they turned on the radio.
But RSA chief Noel Brett said: “None of these help in combating driver fatigue. In fact, these are the people who are most at risk of being involved in a driver fatigue related crash.”
As part of efforts to combat driver fatigue and encourage drivers to take breaks, Applegreen filling stations will offer free cups of coffee between 2pm and 8pm on Friday.