Tiredness seems to be widespread across the British working public these days. How often do you hear friends and colleagues complaining how exhausted they are? A lot probably and it’s becoming more common.

According to a recent survey, two in five Brits revealed that they have days where they feel tired from the moment they wake until the moment they go to sleep. This level of exhaustion is perhaps most dangerous when it heads behind the steering wheel of a vehicle, and new research has outlined the worrying reality of tired drivers.

In a survey of 1,000 motorists published by SmartWitness, 42 per cent admitted they have driven whilst feeling drowsy and in danger of nodding off. Additionally, one in six drivers have actually fallen asleep at the wheel.

Car Crash 1

Almost half (47 per cent) of those surveyed said they had been a danger to themselves or other road users as a result of tired driving at some point. The problem is worse among men, with just one in ten female respondents having fallen asleep while driving, compared to almost a quarter of men (24 per cent).

Car CCTV Camera

Most drowsy drivers (89 per cent) say they don’t have a choice in the matter, because they have to drive for work or for their home life. Disappointingly, only 48 per cent say they always heed government warnings to stop and take a break when they are tired.

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When it comes to combating tiredness behind the wheel, opening a car window is the most common method (48 per cent), followed by having a coffee (37 per cent), chewing gum (24 per cent), turning up the radio (16 per cent) and turning the car’s air con to cold (12 per cent).

man falling asleep at the wheel

Company drivers are believed to be particularly susceptible to these risks due to hectic schedules and increasingly long working hours. It is estimated that driver fatigue is a contributory factor in as many as one in five driver deaths every year.

How do you feel about tired drivers? Are they selfish and ignorant or victims of today’s working conditions? Let us know down there in the comments.

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