Around 53 fatalities in 2017 were linked to fatigue being responsible


According to new research carried out by the AA Charitable Trust, one in eight motorists in the UK admit that they’ve fallen asleep at the wheel, whilst a further 37% said they’d felt so tired they were worried in case they nodded off.

In 2017, around 53 fatalities and 351 serious accidents were linked to fatigue being responsible, estimating that around a quarter of these crashes last year were because a driver had become so tired whilst behind the wheel.

The survey involved asking 20,561 motorists, discovering that 17% of male drivers have indeed fallen asleep behind the wheel, whilst only 5% of women in comparison had done the same.

Around 53 fatalities in 2017 were linked to fatigue being responsible

One in eight drivers confess to falling asleep behind the wheel.

What the data did show is that motorists between the ages of 18 to 24 are the group most likely to say that tiredness in no way affects how they drive – the average was 2% in comparison to the group’s 13%.

This age group were also the ones most likely to continue driving despite being tired – the average was 3% in comparison to their 18%.

From the drivers who took part in the survey, 57% said they pulled up to take a break the moment they felt too tired to carry on, compared to just 34% of 18 to 24 year-olds.

Some 36% said they felt okay when they set off on their journey and the tiredness they came to feel was a bit of a shock. This figure was higher amongst the 18 to 24 year-old group – 45%.

Furthermore, 11% confessed to already feeling tired when they started their journey, with 29% of 18 to 25 year-olds compared to 15% of women and 9% of men.

To conclude, 23% of 18 to 24 year-olds said they’d been driving for over two hours with no break when they felt the tiredness strike, compared to 25% of men and 19% of women.

“A driver who nods off for just three or four seconds on a motorway would have covered the length of a football pitch with closed eyes. A 30-second nap while travelling at 60mph covers half a mile – a terrifying thought,” said Edmund King, president and director of the AA Charitable Trust, commenting on the figures.

Top 5 reasons given for driving whilst tired:

  • Long and/or hard day at work – 39%
  • Monotony of the journey – 33%
  • Driving late at night – 27%
  • Attempting to cover too much distance in a day – 27%
  • Poor sleep the night before – 26%


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