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One in seven Brits involved in an accident or near miss due to driving whilst tired

New research from Prima, the car insurance provider, reveals that nearly 6 million UK drivers (16%) admit to getting behind the wheel whilst tired.

On average, nearly half of drivers (48%) admitted to driving on less than five hours’ sleep. Others revealed that they fail to take breaks every two hours while driving (21%), despite Highway Code recommendations to take at least 15 minutes. Over 2 million do not take breaks at all.

This could be why an estimated 5 million motorists have – or have come close to – being involved in a car accident due to tiredness. Nearly a third (29%) who live in the country’s capital have done so.

Shockingly, over a quarter of Brits (27%) believe that if you’re feeling tired on the motorway, you should stop on the hard shoulder, despite the risks. Over half of those (51%) are young drivers, aged 18-34.

According to National Highways England, one in 14 deaths on motorways happen on hard shoulders. That’s why Prima is urging drivers to find the nearest service station or safe place to stop if they’re feeling tired.

“Whilst it may seem harmless, driving whilst tired puts you, your passengers and the public in danger,” says Nick Ielpo, UK Country Manager at Prima. “Tiredness affects your reaction times, alertness and decision-making abilities. Drowsy driving is comparable to driving under the influence. We need to take it seriously.”

The data also reveals that one in ten Brits (9%) think they’re safe to drive when tired, as long as they have a coffee or an energy drink.

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