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One in eight motorists admits to falling asleep at wheel

The AA is urging fleets to ensure employees are not allowed to drive while tired after new research has revealed that one in eight (13%) UK motorists admit to falling asleep at the wheel.

The AA has also produced a video on the dangers of driving while tired

The research, which was commissioned by the AA Charitable Trust, finds that men are three times more likely to fall asleep at the wheel than women, while nearly two-fifths of drivers say they have been so tired when driving that dropping off has been a real cause for concern.

With drowsy driving responsible for a quarter of fatal crashes, Jennie Hill, AA director of business services, said allowing your team to drive when tired can prove a fatal business decision.

She added: “Firms have a legal obligation to ensure company car drivers are as safe as possible while driving. Organisations can be prosecuted for corporate manslaughter if an employee is involved in a fatal crash while driving their vehicle for work. Safety on the road must always be prioritised over profit.”

As part of its new campaignwhich also includes a video – the AA is urging fleets to pass on its sleep tips for business drivers, compiled by sleep expert Dr Katharina Lederle:

  • Identify your personal sleep window – how much sleep do you need and when do you sleep best? Stick to these times on weekdays and weekends
  • Get out in the natural sunlight for about 30 minutes during the earlier part of the day. Getting lunch from the café that is a little further away is where you want to go
  • Having one or two coffees during the morning is ok but cut it out after lunch. Be aware that tea and energy drinks also contain caffeine!
  • During the day, take regular mini-breaks to reduce stress levels. You don’t have to wait for the evening to relax
  • In the evening, it is best to switch off your phone, tablet and laptop at least one hour before going to bed. If you really need to use an LED device in the evening, install a blue light filter and lower the brightness to reduce the light input
  • Have a healthy, balanced diet. Keep regular meal times and have something for breakfast, eat lunch and avoid eating late in the evening
  • Exercise regularly, and if done in the evening, allow enough time to wind down.
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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.