According to research from PCP research, commissioned and published by motor insurer Liverpool Victoria (LV) today, 1 in 10 UK motorists admit to having slept at the wheel within the past 12 months. Although in the majority of cases drivers nod off for a matter of seconds LV calculated that sleeping drivers could be racking up 55,000 across Britain’s roads!
The research, for which PCP questioned 2,511 British adults, discovered that 9% of Brits (an estimated 3.4 million drivers) had nodded off for an average of 1.17 seconds, travelling at average speed of 50mph, meaning each had driven around 26 metres (the equivalent of 6 Ford Focus’ parked nose to tail) or 55,000 miles in total.
Excuses offered by Britain’s dozing drivers range from monotonous roads (48%), medication (33%) lacking sleep (25%) to one in ten citing “holiday driving”. Alarmingly for insurers, nearly 33% where consciously aware they might soon be unconscious, having started their journey’s feeling drowsy and 20% claimed they were “...hardly been able to keep their eyes open while driving.”
The report goes on to estimate that sleeping drivers could be responsible for upto 170,000 accidents last year, but the vast majority appear to have gone reported. Figures, obtained under Freedom of Information, reveal that only 3,357 fatigue related incidents were reported last year. These figures are thought to be low due to a limited number of forces being able to provide the data, but even a modelled number of around 11,000 fatigue related incidents (assuming average levels nationwide) seems the tip of the iceberg versus the PCP findings.
A spokeswoman for leading UK motor insurance website, compareandsave.com, commented:
“Of course the prevalence of sleeping drivers means higher car insurance premiums for Britons, but this issue clearly goes much deeper – It’s about human life!
"Some people obviously don't appreciate just how dangerous drozy driving is.
"Endangering one’s own life is one thing, but by sleeping at the wheel drivers are also putting innocent people at risk too.
"Driving whilst fatigued should have the same social stigma as drink driving. Obviously it's hard to prove that an motor accident was directly caused due to a driver being too tired to control a vehicle, but perhaps for this reason the government should be working doubly hard to educate the public about the risks involved when driving.
"The first step to achieving this is fully understanding the problem, so it’s quite concerning that the majority of police forces aren’t even able to offer numbers for this type of crime.”
© 2013 PRWEB.COM Newswire