After having passed your driving test with a driving school in Egham, there is every chance that you will be desperate to get yourself out on the road as soon as possible.

The undeniable thrill of being legally able to drive independently in your very own car often results in taking advantage of any excuse to get behind the wheel. However, this can sometimes lead to drivers heading out on the road when they are tired and this is something that no driver should ever contemplate.

Fatigue Kills

There can be no excuse for driving or continuing to drive when you feel tired. Tiredness is not something that creeps up on you unexpectedly and, as such, you will instinctively know when you are feeling tired. The second that this happens you should pull over to freshen yourself up before continuing your journey.

Frightening Statistics

Statistics from the UK Government’s ‘THINK!’ road safety campaign show the risk of driving when tired:

  • Research suggests that almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep-related
  • Sleep-related accidents are more likely than others to result in a fatality or serious injury
  • Peak times for accidents are in the early hours and after lunch
  • About 40% of sleep-related accidents involve commercial vehicles
  • Men under 30 have the highest risk of falling asleep at the wheel

THINK also identifies that the early hours of the morning and after lunch are peak times for sleep-related accidents to occur.

Who is Most At Risk?

While tiredness can indeed affect any driver, research has shown young male drivers to be most at risk. Studies by both THINK! and Loughborough University have identified that young males under the age of 30 are the demographic involved in most sleep-related accidents.

What Can Be Done?

The good news is that tiredness will only become a factor if you let it. The simple rule is that if you are feeling tired before starting a journey then you should not drive.

Other sensible rules include:

  • Plan your journey to include a 15-minute break every two hours.
  • Don’t start a long trip if you’re already tired.
  • Remember the risks if you have to get up unusually early to start a long drive.
  • Try to avoid long trips between midnight and 6am when you’re likely to feel sleepy anyway.
  • If you start to feel sleepy, find a safe place to stop – not the hard shoulder of a motorway. Drink two cups of coffee or a high-caffeine drink and have a rest for 10 to 15 minutes to allow time for the caffeine to kick in.
  • Remember, the only real cure for sleepiness is proper sleep. A caffeine drink or a nap is a short-term solution that will only allow you to keep driving for a short time.