Driving Exhausted a Common Cause of Road Crashes—UK Safety Group
In 2018, Metro Manila endured around 50 road crash incidents every single day according to the Metro Manila Accident Reporting and Analysis System (MMARAS), averaging one fatality per day.
Based on MMARAS data, human error is the top cause of these road mishaps, which the agency defines as the different forms of negligence and distractions faced by a driver that leads to road crashes.
One example of human error is driving exhausted.
When one drives a vehicle while extremely tired or fatigued, there’s the risk of delayed response, inattentiveness, falling asleep at the wheel, losing control of the vehicle, and making bad decisions on the road.
GEM Motoring Assist, a UK-based road safety and breakdown recovery organization, said that drivers that are tired comprised a significant number on the road crash incidents in their country.
“Exhausted drivers pose a significant safety threat, to themselves, to their passengers and to others who share the same road space,” GEM road safety officer Neil Worth commented.
“Fatigue is a major contributory factor in around 20 percent of road crashes, particularly in the early hours of the morning. However, on long, monotonous stretches of motorway it’s likely that a much greater proportion of collisions will be fatigue-related.”
The group urged drivers to be aware of the dangers of fatigue while driving. The risks are particularly high among those who drive for their work, says GEM, as they are likely to be at the wheel for long periods, or with tight deadlines to meet in the course of a day.
“Collisions occur when an exhausted driver fails to respond quickly and safely if a dangerous situation arises. These collisions are typically around 50 per cent more likely to result in death or serious injury, as the driver is unable to take avoiding action to reduce severity of an impact,” Worth added.
GEM provided these tips to help any driver reduce the risk of being in a fatigue-related collision.
- Preventing fatigue is more helpful than having to deal with it, so ensure you get a good night’s sleep before heading off on a long trip.
- Don’t drive for more than eight to ten hours in a day. Aim to share the driving if possible.
- Take regular breaks – a break of at least 15 minutes after every two hours or every 100 miles (161 kms) is recommended.
- Don’t drink alcohol before your trip. Even a small amount can significantly contribute to driver fatigue.
- Avoid driving at times when you’d usually be sleeping.
- If you feel you’re becoming drowsy, consider pulling over somewhere safe (and legal) to take a 15 minute power nap.