No excuse for drowsy driving this Easter, says AAMI
AAMI urges drivers to make the most of Driver Reviver sites this Easter long weekend
Nearly half (44%) of Victorian motorists are putting themselves in danger and risking the lives of others by driving three hours or more without taking a break, according to new research revealed by AAMI.
The research findings have prompted AAMI to remind people heading off on a driving holiday this Easter long weekend to drive safely, be alert, and remember to take a break every two hours to prevent nodding off while behind the wheel.
AAMI's research found that 17% of Victorian drivers would not stop and have a power nap if they felt tired while driving, despite almost a quarter (22%) admitting they have momentarily fallen asleep at the wheel.
AAMI spokesperson, Reuben Aitchison, said: "Every holiday period we all see the horrific stories on the news about the holiday road toll, yet these frightening statistics show that motorists are willing to risk it all just so they can start their holiday sooner."
"Feeling tired or drowsy while driving can be fatal. In fact, many people don't realise that fatigue related crashes can be more severe than others. This is because drivers who are sleep deprived have delayed reactions, which makes them less likely to avoid an accident or brake early enough."
"One of the easiest ways to prevent fatigue while driving is to make sure you've had some good quality shut-eye the night before and are well rested when you set off on your trip," he said. "But unfortunately we know that roughly one in twelve Victorian drivers will ignore this advice and begin their Easter driving trip straight after work in order to beat the traffic."
"This is one of the worst times to embark on a long driving journey because you’re more likely to feel tired after a long day at work and it tends to be the time of day when your mind is starting to wind down and prepare for sleep, so you’re constantly fighting the urge to doze off." Mr Aitchison explained.
According to AAMI's claims data, the majority of accidents that occurred on the day before Good Friday last year happened between 2pm and 10pm.
A key tool in preventing driving while tired is the Driver Reviver program. Forty sites will operate across Victoria from Thursday 2 April through until Tuesday 7 April.
Driver Reviver sites will offer free tea, coffee, water and biscuits to help motorists rest and refresh in a staffed and safe environment.
Trevor White, SES Chief Officer Operations said: "So far in 2015, we've had 66 fatalities on Victorian roads, an increase of 3 per cent*. That’s 66 people who won’t be celebrating Easter with their families this year."
"Easter is a particularly busy time on our roads and I ask all Victorian drivers to take special precautions when travelling through the state this long weekend," he said.
"It is always more gratifying for SES volunteers to have a friendly chat and serve you a cuppa at a Driver Reviver site than be faced with the trauma of cutting you out of your vehicle after a collision."
If you're taking a trip over Easter, visit a Driver Reviver site to take a break. For more information and a full list of sites and their operating hours, visit: http://www.ses.vic.gov.au/get-ready/driver-reviver/driver-reviver
AAMI's top tips for safe driving this Easter long weekend:
- Get a good night's sleep before you head off on your journey.
- Take a break from driving at least every two hours to help fight driver fatigue.
- Make use of the Driver Reviver sites and change drivers at each rest stop.
- Caffeine, energy drink or loud music will not always work to help fight fatigue. Sleep or rest is the only answer.
- Slow down while driving at night, especially when driving through the country as wildlife and other hazards are harder to