One in ten drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel

One in ten drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel

New research has found that as many as one in ten motorists have at some point fallen asleep while piloting a vehicle.

LV= car insurance conducted a survey of 2,511 British drivers aged 18 and over and found 9 per cent admitted to nodding off behind the wheel in the last 12 months.
The sleep can last as little as 1.17 seconds but as they are travelling at an average speed of around 50mph, that's long enough for them to cover 26 metres - or the equivalent of two double-decker buses.

Nearly half (48 per cent) of the drowsy drivers blamed monotonous roads while a quarter (25 per cent) said they were lacking sleep overnight, one in ten (11 per cent) blamed holiday driving and 1 in 33 blamed their medication.

If the startling statistics are extrapolated to cover all of the UK's motorists, that percentage figure could mean that up to 3.4 million motorists dozed off while driving last year.

The report notes that official Police figures, obtained via a Freedom of Information request, reveal that there were more than 3,357 fatigue related road accidents recorded over the past five years.

Yet only 15 police forces out of 51 were able to provide this information and so the actual figure is likely to be closer 11,000.

Many motorists admit they sometimes risk driving despite knowing they are too tired to safely operate a vehicle. Close to a third (28 per cent) say they have got behind the wheel of their car while they were feeling drowsy and a fifth (19 per cent) admit they've hardly been able to keep their eyes open while driving.

Over half (56 per cent) of those who fell asleep while driving say it happened between 8pm and 6am.

The issue is particularly prevalent in male drivers, who are nearly three times as likely to fall asleep at the wheel than their female equivalents (33 per cent of men compared to 12 per cent of women).
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