Road Safety Week: don’t drive tired

You can’t be blamed for thinking that we’re a little sleep obsessed at Mattressman – fanatics of the wholesome forty winks, you may say. But until now, we’ve never had to make a case for sleep saving your life.

Research shows that almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep related. That’s an astounding number of collisions, particularly when you consider how easily they could be avoided.

In light of this, here’s a breakdown of common misconceptions about driving tired:

If you feel tired at the wheel, simply crack open the window or turn up the radio and you’ll be fine…

FALSE – People who fall asleep at the wheel often try to stave off tiredness by getting some fresh air or turning up the volume on their car stereo. This only works for a short while and doesn’t eliminate the risk of drifting off.

I know if I’m falling asleep…

FALSE – A micro-sleep is a brief period of involuntary sleep that lasts from five to 10 seconds. You may be more familiar with the sudden head jerk that follows a micro-sleep, but those fleeting seconds are all that are needed to cause a fatal collision.

Sleep-related accidents only happen in the dead of night… 

FALSE – Peak times for accidents are in the early hours of the morning and after lunch.

I’m young and fit, so the chances of me falling asleep at the wheel are minimal…

FALSE – Male drivers under the age of 30 actually have the highest risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Just because you have age on your side and you’re healthy doesn’t make you any less likely to get tired.

Now that we’ve well and truly busted those myths, here’s some advice from Think!

  • If you’re feeling sleepy, drink either two cups of coffee or a high-caffeine drink and then wait for 10 minutes to allow your body to absorb the caffeine.

Remember: caffeinated drinks are only a short-term solution; the only cure for tiredness is a proper sleep.

  • When planning a journey, try to include a 15-minute break every two hours to fend off fatigue.
  • Don’t start a long trip if you already feel tired.
  • Don’t ever take a nap on the hard shoulder of a motorway – pull over somewhere safe such as a motorway services or layby to recharge your batteries.

Mattressman is always here to help with sleep-related issues, so if you have any questions about which mattress is right for you or how you can get the most out of your sleep, don’t hesitate to get in touch or leave a comment below.

Sleep well!

James Murray

James Murray

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