Fatigue is a factor in many accidents - particularly on motorways
If you drive a lot for work, spend the week working away from home, or drive having flown back from a trip abroad, you may be more susceptible to being involved in a sleep-related accident.
The dangers posed by drunk, drugged and ill drivers are well understood, but tired drivers, though often ignored as a risk, are every bit as dangerous.
The traditional image is of someone driving late at night, possibly on the way to or from a holiday, but these days tiredness is often an issue with people driving for work – more often because of hours driven rather than the time of day.
If you spend the week working away from home or have flown back from abroad you might also be susceptible to sleep related accidents.
The police record fatigue as a factor in only 3% of injury accidents, but other studies put the number at up to 10% for car drivers in accidents, and even higher for accidents on motorways and long distance routes.
As a company driver you can feel pressured into breaking guidelines to meet deadlines.
Check whether your employer has a written road safety policy. Most will have one which should lay down rules to help prevent fatigue-related accidents.
Not all companies are good at communicating to their staff that they have a policy though.
(8 December 2011)