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Employers must allow employees to sleep for longer as driver fatigue is linked to one in five road accidents, RoSPA Head claims

Ref:A0517
Published: 23 July 2013

driver fatigue


It’s Monday morning. You’ve had a lovely weekend and a late Sunday dinner, having stayed awake to watch The White Queen followed by a romantic comedy. Before you know it, you’re going to be in bed by 2am – or later.


And then you are forced to wake up in just a few hours – forced by your loud and relentless alarm – only to find there is not enough time to finish the breakfast cereal you have made yourself. Then, it’s out onto the road. You’re sleepy. You’re tired. Your body could fall asleep at any moment. 


Around 20 per cent of accidents on motorways and monotonous roads are linked to driver fatigue and most of these are thought to be sleep-related, occurring in the morning when drivers are rushing to work. 


“We know they’re much more common in the early hours of the morning when your body naturally wants to be asleep,” explained Kevin Clinton, Head of Road Safety for RoSPA. “It doesn’t want to be awake and driving. And if you’re tired, your body will go to sleep even if you’re doing 70mph on a motorway.


“I think employers have a really big role to play with driver fatigue because they set schedules for their drivers and they should set the working regime. Many of the people on the road in the early hours are driving for work so employers have a really important role in making sure that their schedules and working practices don’t put their employees in that situation."

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