Don’t Drive Tired is the message Hampshire County Council wants to get across to drivers this October.

Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council explained: “We’re supporting the Government’s national campaign to raise awareness of how dangerous it is to drive tired. Around 20 per cent of all accidents on major roads are related to people driving when they’re too tired, and accidents like this are more likely to result in either a serious injury or a fatality.

Hampshire County Council has installed new ‘Don’t’ Drive Tired’ signs on the A338 on a five mile stretch between Fordingbridge and Ringwood. County Council studies show that there have been eight fatigue related accidents in the past five years here.

Councillor Humby continued: “We all want Hampshire’s roads to be as safe as possible for all who to use them. I would ask drivers to be aware of the risks of driving tired and take some steps to reduce these, such as taking a short break every two hours on a long drive or checking medication labels for side effects which can cause sleepiness.”

Up to one fifth of accidents on motorways and other monotonous types of roads may be caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel. National studies have shown that drivers don’t fall asleep without warning: drivers who fall asleep at the wheel have often tried to fight off drowsiness by opening a window, or by turning up the radio.

Tips to avoid driving tired
• Plan your journey to include a 15-minute break every two hours.
• Don’t start a long trip if you’re already tired.
• Remember the risks if you have to get up unusually early to start a long drive.
• Try to avoid long trips between midnight and 6am when you’re likely to feel sleepy anyway.
• If you start to feel sleepy, find a safe place to stop – not the hardshoulder of a motorway.
• Remember, the only real cure for sleepiness is proper sleep. A caffeine drink or a nap is a short-term solution that will only allow you to keep driving for a short time.

More advice for drivers is available on the Government’s website at: https://www.gov.uk/sleepiness-and-driving

More information on the national Think campaign is available at: http://think.direct.gov.uk/fatigue.html

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