Home Menu Search

Scary stats about sleepy drivers

16 May 2013

Business Champion ALD Automotive reports that an insurance industry survey of over 2,500 drivers, suggests that the UK motorists cover a terrifying 55,000 each year while they are asleep at the wheel.
 
The research by PCP discovered that 9% of drivers (3.4 million if extrapolated to the whole population of drivers) admitted to nodding off for an average of 1.17 seconds, while they had been travelling at average speed of 50mph, meaning each had driven around 26 metres or 55,000 miles in total.

The top reasons given were monotonous roads (48%), medication (33%) lacking sleep (25%) with one in ten people citing "holiday driving". 33% admitted to being consciously aware they might soon be unconscious, having started their journey's feeling drowsy and 20% claimed they were "hardly able to keep their eyes open while driving."

It is estimated that sleeping drivers could be responsible for up to 170,000 accidents last year, but the vast majority appear to have gone un-reported. Figures, obtained under Freedom of Information, reveal that only 3,357 fatigue related incidents were reported last year. These figures are thought to be low due to a limited number of forces being able to provide the data, but even a modelled number of around 11,000 fatigue related incidents (assuming average levels nationwide) seems the tip of the iceberg versus the PCP findings. 

Factors that can increase the risk of a driver being involved in a tiredness-related crash should be taken into account when developing policies to prevent driver tiredness. Further advice is available here.

Related news, events and information

Young drivers don't see dangers of driving tired

17 December 2015 – A study has found that driverrs are more likely to get behind the wheel drowsy than drunk, despite it being...

Drink Drive casualties remain high

8 August 2017 – Final estimates for 2015 show that 200 people were killed in collisions in Great Britain where at least one...

Short-term disruption to sleep poses significant driving risk

19 April 2016 – An experiment conducted by Driving for Better Business partner TRL and involving adult triplets has...

Survey shows excessive use of phones whilst driving

8 August 2017 – The case for more public awareness and a better understanding of the risks is highlighted by a new survey...

New course to educate drink drivers of the dangers of drug driving

2 November 2016 – Story from Fleet News. The Department for Transport is trialing the addition of drug driving education to the...

Business drivers remain at high risk

13 January 2016 – Company drivers who drive more than 80% of their annual mileage on work related journeys are 50% more likely to...

New report on crash costs to society

12 October 2016 – Evaluating the costs of incidents from the public sector perspective is a new policy paper from IAM RoadSmart...

Seven-fold rise in drug-driving poses increased threat to firms

19 September 2017 – Story from Fleet News. According to a new report from the Department for Transport (DfT) some 1,442 motorists...

A decline in police enforcement is affecting road safety

22 June 2016 – Declines in the level of police enforcement of traffic offences are contributing to Europe's failure to cut the...