May 1 2009 David Whinyates
Sleep drivers advised to take a coffee break
THREE motorists are likely to get killed and 30 seriously injured in the UK this weekend after falling asleep at the wheel, warns the AA.
And in an attempt to help tired drivers stay awake on their holiday trips, the motoring organization has even negotiated a discount for its members to encourage them to stop for a coffee.
AA members will be able to get a 20 per cent discount off food and drink on production of their membership cards in food outlets at Moto motorway service areas.
With many drivers travelling further afield this Bank Holiday, the AA is appealing to motorists to take effective breaks after its research showed that around two-thirds of them fail to do so when travelling long distances.
The AA strongly recommends that motorists take a break in any journey over three hours - with additional breaks needed for journeys longer than this.
The organisation's research found that almost a quarter (23 per cent) of motorists only ever stop for a quick toilet break while one in 20 never stop at all.
Worst still one in 10 drivers admit to nodding off at the wheel and 28 per cent say they keep driving when they are tired so they can reach their destination;
Andrew Howard, head of road safety at the AA, says: 'Many of the motorists driving this weekend will not regularly drive long distances, so there will be a temptation to skip breaks and keep driving. If they do this while tired, they are in danger of becoming a statistic - one of the up to 3,000 killed or seriously injured each year as a result of falling asleep.'
Howard advises: 'If you feel tired, stop, drink a strong coffee and have a 20-minute nap - simply stretching your legs and getting some fresh air isn't sufficient.'