August 29, 2023
Getting behind the wheel without adequate rest or under the effects of fatigue is a risk that multiplies the chances of road traffic incidents.
In the summer months, lack of sleep caused by the heat can have an impact on driving, but even as we approach the autumn, fatigue is still a problem for many, and sleep-deprived driving is comparable to driving under the influence of alcohol, multiplying your chances of crashing by up to 5. These figures skyrocket to increase by 30 when lack of sleep and alcohol or drugs are combined.
DGT data highlights that drivers who sleep less than four hours are 11 times more likely to be involved in an incident. In addition, after 7% of traffic incidents, the influence of drowsiness is suspected. Lack of awareness is a concern, as a study shows that many drivers continue to drive despite feeling drowsy.
According to data from the DGT, sleep problems could be the reason why in 2021, 77 people died in traffic incidents. If we extrapolate this trend to the incident figures of the last decade, it is estimated that on average every year 75 people died and another 250 were seriously injured for the same reason.
The impact of sleep and fatigue on driving is undeniable. The DGT and road safety experts emphasise the need for awareness to change the mentality of drivers regarding the risk of sleepiness behind the wheel.
Measures such as respecting rest times and avoiding driving at times of high drowsiness can make a difference in preventing road traffic incidents. Recognising that fatigue is a real enemy and adopting healthy sleep habits are essential to safety on the roads, at least on the eve of long journeys.