One in ten workers admit falling asleep at wheelSome drive on less than five hours sleep

05 January 2008

Hands on car steering wheel

As many as 10% of people who use their vehicles for work have admitted falling asleep at the wheel in the past 12 months, according to a new survey.

This figure is more than twice as high as the sleep figure (4%) for motorists drivers who not drive for work purposes, the survey from road safety charity Brake and breakdown service Green Flag revealed.

One per cent of all drivers said they drive once a day or more frequently on less than five hours' sleep, while 3% said they did so 'several times a week'.

About half (49%) of at-work drivers and 65% of non-work motorists have never got behind the wheel after less than five hours' sleep.

Lack of sleep

Brake head of campaigns Cathy Keeler said: 'Too many people are dying on our roads because people get behind the wheel when impaired through tiredness. It is outrageous that so many companies allow their employees to drive on company time when they are so tired that they actually fall asleep.

'It's crucial that companies introduce thorough procedures to ensure employees are not endangering themselves and others when driving for work. But drivers themselves must also take responsibility. Getting behind the wheel when you've not had enough sleep is deadly.'

Green Flag spokesperson Abi Clark said: 'All drivers should be fully alert when on the roads. Our research shows that people who drive for work are even more likely to be tired at the wheel than those who don't.

'However, the message is simple for all drivers: ensure you get sufficient sleep the night before you drive. If you nod off at the wheel, even for just a second, it can have serious consequences for all road users.'

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