DRIVER FATIGUE – Tips for the upcoming Christmas Party Season.

Posted on Dec 02, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Fighting sleep at the wheel is as dangerous as driving over the Legal Alcohol Limit.

It's commonly known that alcohol is estimated to be a contributory factor in 1 in 3 fatal collisions but are you aware that it has been proven that driving when exhausted is as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol?

This time of year is one of the most high risk times on our roads with end of year celebrations, Christmas Parties and people heading off on long road journeys home. Statistics show that if you drive between 10pm and dawn you’re four times more likely to have a fatal, fatigue related crash.

Everyone can feel tired but if you drive for a living this can put you in the Danger Zone.
Other people particularly at risk include;

  • Long distance drivers.
  • Nightshift workers.
  • Drivers who may need to drive during antisocial hours .
  • People taking medication such as antihistamines which can make you drowsy.

Graph Shows actual number of Sleep related accidents.

A survey of drivers’ attitudes to driver fatigue undertaken by the RSA in 2014 revealed that 1 in 10 motorists have fallen asleep at the wheel. Research indicates that tiredness could be a factor in one in five driver deaths in Ireland.  

This is an extremely high figure and we need to be aware of how to minimise the risks of driver tiredness. 

Obviously the first thing to do is to try to get enough sleep. Whether this involves turning off your phone when you're asleep to ensure you're not disturbed or being checked out by your GP for any sleep problems.


We have the following advice for tired drivers:

  • When you are driving and you feel extremely tired PULL OVER! 
  • Stop in a safe place (not the hard shoulder) Drink something containing caffeine - a strong coffee or an energy drink. It usually takes around 15 minutes for caffeine to take effect so use this short break to have a nap. 
  • Make sure your doors are locked and set an alarm to wake you after 20 minutes. If you sleep for too long you will just feel too lethargic-thus causing you to be more at risk.
  • Get some fresh air and stretch your legs for a few minutes
  • By following the above advice you should feel able to drive for another hour or so.
  • If you're on a long journey share the driving if possible.
  • Finally, Don't start a long trip after a longer day's work than usual and never drive when you should be asleep. Fighting extreme tiredness won't work - the only cure is sleep.

These are emergency tactics only. If you can stop, do so even if you're close to home. It’s just not worth the risk!

We are all responsible for keeping our roads safe over the festive season.

Have a safe and happy Christmas from all the team at


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