A timely reminder to rest well before long weekend road trips
Online PR News – 03-October-2012 –Men are twice as likely to doze off while driving as women, according to new research from leading national car insurer, AAMI .
Nearly a third (30%) of male drivers admitted to nodding off momentarily at the wheel, compared to only 14% of female drivers.
“Nearly a third (30%) of male drivers admitted to nodding off momentarily at the wheel, compared to only 14% of female drivers.”
With drivers taking to the roads for the long weekend, that’s a worrying statistic, according to AAMI spokesperson, Reuben Aitchison. “On family holidays, it tends to be Dad who drives, and men are also more likely to try to push through their fatigue, with half (52%) saying they are prepared to drive for three hours or more without taking a break compared to only a third (38%) of women.
"Fatigue is one of the deadliest risks on our roads, implicated in up to 30% of fatal crashes in Australia in 2011 , so we urge all drivers to heed the advice from experts and take break every two hours to minimise the risk of falling asleep while driving."
"Once you’re on your way, it’s tempting to just keep driving to get to your holiday spot sooner, but continuing your journey while experiencing the tell-tale yawning, oversteering and restlessness of fatigue is very risky," Mr Aitchison warned. “If you nod off for just four seconds while travelling at 100 kilometres an hour, you’ll cover the length of a footy field with your eyes closed."
AAMI’s research has also shown that 39% of drivers have attempted to fight fatigue with loud music, passengers' company or caffeine drinks, but these tactics are simply not enough.
"Nothing helps ease the symptoms of fatigue like taking a break to have a stretch, take a breath of fresh air and a power nap if necessary. We all want to spend more time on holidays, but arriving safely, rather than quickly, should be the number one priority,” Mr Aitchison concluded.
AAMI’s top tips for road trips:
- Do not set off after a day of work. Get a good night’s sleep and leave in the morning.
- Don’t drive at times when you would normally be asleep. (e.g. early hours of the morning or late at night)
- Schedule regular rest breaks outside the vehicle. 10-15 minutes rest every two hours.
- Share the driving where possible.
- Allow extra time to get to your destination so you can take a power nap if needs be.
Newspoll Market & Social Research conducted an independent internet survey of 3,706 Australian drivers, 18 years of age and older, across a full national sample in 2012. Data was collected in line with ISO 20252 – Market, Social and Opinion Research and has been weighted with current ABS population demographics to ensure any extrapolation of results is representative of age, gender and area.
ANZPAA, Road Policing Statistics 2011.
Insurance issued by Australian Associated Motor Insurers Ltd (AAMI). Refer to the Product Disclosure Statement at aami.com.au or call 13 22 44.