20 August 2013
Drivers are being warned to wake up to the dangers of driver fatigue in a new road safety campaign led by Slough Borough Council.
Nationally each year it is estimated that 300 people are killed and many more seriously injured in incidents where a driver has fallen asleep at the wheel.
The council’s road safety team has designed a poster and leaflet campaign featuring a blurred image of a van from the viewpoint of a sleepy driver who is driving too close behind.
It is hoped the campaign will raise awareness of the dangers of driver fatigue and encourage people on long journeys to take more breaks and not to drive if they feel tired.
Thankfully incidents caused by driver fatigue are relatively rare in Slough but thousands of people commute in and out of the borough every day, with many travelling long distances to and from work.
And because of the trading estates in Slough and Colnbrook and the obvious links to the M4, many commercial drivers arrive in the borough having travelled enormous distances and are likely to travel many more miles when they leave.
Keith Beasley, road safety officer, said: “The campaign is mainly targeted at all those who need to drive considerable distances. Together with officers from Thames Valley Police, we will be delivering posters and leaflets to businesses across the borough, particularly on the Slough and Colnbrook trading estates.
“Most drivers have been faced with the prospect of driving while they’re tired, perhaps on those days when they’ve had a bad night’s sleep and they’ve got to get to work or it’s been a long day and they’re desperate to get home.
“But although it’s tempting on those occasions to think we’ll be okay to drive, it’s important to realise that no amount of willpower will keep you awake. And we won’t fall asleep without feeling tired first, so we must listen to our body’s warning signs.”
Keith gives the following advice to motorists:
• Start a long journey if you are already tired.
• Drive after you have consumed alcohol.
• Drive if you are on medication that causes drowsiness.
• Rely on energy drinks – their effects only last for a limited time.
• Plan to stop for a 15-minute break every two hours on a long journey. Even a 10-15 minute nap will refresh you.
• Try to get a good night’s sleep before starting a long journey.
• Share the driving if possible.
• Stop in a safe place if you feel tired. If you are on a motorway do not stop on the hard shoulder – take the next exit and find a safe place.
• If possible drink a cup or two of strong coffee followed by a short nap. The caffeine will take effect after about 30 minutes.
Cllr Sohail Munawar, commissioner for social and economic inclusion with a responsibility for road safety, said: “I hope people listen to the advice we’re giving in this campaign because it could ultimately save their lives, those of their passengers or other innocent people.”
View our poster and postcard campaign below: