Government tackles sleepy drivers

  • One in five accidents caused by tired drivers
  • Just 18% of drivers take a rest after yawning
  • 4% drive for seven hours without taking a break
One in five accidents on major roads is caused by sleepy motorists, says the Government - and it's launching a campaign to do something about it.

The campaign coincides with the results of a survey by YouGov, which show that just 18% of drivers pull up for a rest after yawning at the wheel.

The poll also revealed that:

• Only 22% of drivers plan breaks into their journeys;

• 26% of drivers admit to having driven for more than four hours without taking a break;

• 4% admit to having driven for over seven hours without taking a break.

Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: 'Being tired at the wheel is a proven killer. People who drive for work are particularly at risk, but there are simple steps we can all take to make our journeys safer.

'Plan regular stops into a long trip, and if you find yourself yawning, pull over and take a break - this could make the difference between life and death.'

Dr Neil Stanley, a sleep expert from the Clinical Trials and Research Unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said: 'Yawning quite simply means you're on the road to falling asleep - so if you're yawning behind the wheel, it really is time to pull over.'
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