Half of male drivers admit to falling asleep at the wheel

Women less than half as likely to nod off on the road - but half of drivers say they get less than 5 hours' sleep

by Sarah Barth   January 4, 2014  

M62 motorway Calderdale by Mark Evison.jpg

Men are much more likely than women to nod off at the wheel, with almost half of male drivers saying they have started to fall asleep while driving.

Seven per cent of drivers say they have fallen fast asleep on the road - a statistic that road charity Brake says accounts for 300 deaths a year.

The study of 1,000 drivers carried out for Brake found that half had driven after less than five hours’ sleep - which the charity considers too little for safe driving.

45 per cent of male drivers says they have experienced their heads ‘nodding’ from tiredness, while only 22 per cent of women reported the same thing.

Episodes of head ‘nodding’ are also known as micro-sleeps of between two and 30 seconds.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, told the Times (£): “The fact that so many drivers, especially men, have head-nodded at the wheel is horrifying.”

She added: “This survey suggests this is down to many people failing to ensure they always get sufficient sleep before embarking on journeys.”

Last year we reported how a 73-year-old motorist who killed a cyclist received a six-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to causing his death through careless driving, although medical experts were not certain if he fell asleep at the wheel or whether undiagnosed Parkinson’s Disease lay behind the incident.

Cyclist James Greenwood, aged 74, died in hospital from multiple injuries sustained when he was struck from behind by a car driven by John Plummer on Darlington Back Lane in Stockton last November, reports the Northern Echo.

Sentencing Plummer at Teeside Crown Court, Judge Peter Bowers said: "This sort of case raises a lot of emotions, and I have to be careful that I reflect in any sentence not only the tragic outcome, but also the culpability you must bear for the death of another human being."

David James, defending Plummer, said in mitigation that he was unaware that he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease and that he was not feeling tired prior to the incident.

He added that Plummer, who lost his partner when she was killed by a vehicle on a zebra crossing ten years ago, did not plan to drive again.

4 user comments

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No study conducted to compare the number of men and women who regularly use their rear view mirror to do their hair and makeup while driving in traffic or on the motorway then.

posted by Grubbythumb [28 posts]
4th January 2014 - 15:44

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Getting less than five hours sleep is classed as sleep deprivation. The mortality rate from all causes is doubled, blood pressure goes up to compensate. Causes include heart attack, stroke, accidents and many more.

So wft is going on with people getting less than 5hrs sleep or is this quoted out of context or in a misleading manner?

posted by kie7077 [423 posts]
6th January 2014 - 18:37

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"Sentencing Plummer at Teeside Crown Court"

Pet hate of mine but it is spelt Teesside, ie the side of the River Tees.

posted by tarquin_foxglove [77 posts]
8th January 2014 - 11:54

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SO SMIDSY is about to be replaced by a series of Illnesses ? It is becoming a case of the Insurance Companies covering their "butts " to reduce OUR Premiums ?

No doubt there are a few genuine cases where Vehicle Drivers are " Unknowingly Ill " but even though the Cyclist was 74yo , HIS family were entitled to a better result than " Wrong place , wrong time "!

Cyclists should be entitled to ride the roads without the fear of a sidetrip too A & E or being fitted for a wooden overcoat !

Facebook.com/RightofWayAustralia is an attempt to focus Politicians on the fact that CYCLISTS VOTE , their Family VOTE, their Friends VOTE . Yes i know the Motoring Lobby ALSO votes .

SO if you are more than a keyboard cowboy , click " LIKE " and HELP make a difference for CYCLE SAFETY .

Who knows the LIFE you help save , may be YOUR OWN ?

Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

skippy's picture

posted by skippy [378 posts]
8th January 2014 - 19:38

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