Male drivers more likely to drive tired

male driver 9th January 2014

Drivers in every walk of life are aware that tiredness can kill on the roads, as a loss of concentration can lead to collisions, putting drivers' lives at risk and those of other road users.

However, a new study has found that it is more likely male drivers will push their body to the limit of exhaustion while on the road.

A poll carried out by Direct Line and Brake found that 45 per cent of male motorists surveyed admitted to 'head-nodding' at the wheel, meaning they have briefly fallen asleep while driving.

Overall, seven per cent of drivers admitted to falling asleep at the wheel, with male drivers once again the main offenders.

Almost half (49 per cent) of drivers admit driving after less than five hours' sleep – which is not nearly enough for safe driving. Again, this was found to be more common among men (55 per cent) than women (45 per cent).

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said that the number of drivers who have 'head-nodded' at the wheel is "horrifying".

"This survey suggests this is down to many people failing to ensure they always get sufficient sleep before embarking on journeys. We need all drivers to wake up to the fact that ‘head nodding' is falling asleep, and can easily lead to catastrophe, but it can, of course be prevented."

The road safety charity has urged drivers to get a good night's sleep if they are planning to set off on a journey early the next day. It also recommended a break from driving every two hours, and never trying to ‘plough on' when they're tired, because sleep can ensue so quickly.

"Ultimately, getting home to your loved ones a bit later is better than never getting there at all," Ms Townsend noted.

What about you? Have you ever felt yourself nodding off at the wheel during a long drive?

Posted by Danielle Barge