Interviews by Road Safety Charity, Break, Reveals Half of Male Drivers Have Suffered from Micro Sleep at the Wheel

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Driver fatigue can cause micro sleep at the wheel. Accident Advice Helpline advise on ways to ensure you are always awake and alert when driving.

A staggering half of male drivers have admitted to suffering from micro sleep when driving their vehicle. (BBC article, Who, What, why : what is a micro-sleep, 9th January 2014*)

The shocking results have been described as “horrifying” by road safety charity, Brake.

Micro sleep is described as light sleep which lasts only 5 – 10 seconds, but this is ample time for drivers to be involved a serious accident.

With micro sleep, the brain shuts down and it can happen when drivers are on auto pilot. It is more likely to occur in the afternoon when energy levels tend to take a dip.

The director of Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre, Professor Jim Horne said, "With micro-sleep, you are just left with a feeling of not knowing if you are coming or going."

Understandably, this is a highly dangerous situation and is completely avoidable if drivers take more care when on the road.

A spokesperson for Accident Advice Helpline spoke of these recent results by saying, “No matter what situation we are in, we know when we are starting to tire. If you feel that your eyes are getting heavy, it is important to take precautions to avoid nodding off.”

She added, “Taking a coffee break or having an energy drink and giving it time to digest before driving again will help. Rolling the window down to allow air to get in the vehicle may also stop you falling asleep, as may turning your music up.”

“Other actions you may wish to take include, ensuring you have had sufficient sleep before setting off, avoiding a heavy meal before you go out driving as this can bag you up and cause fatigue, having someone with you to keep you awake and stopping for regular breaks.

“These precautions should be taken not just for your own sake, but for the safety of other drivers and pedestrians.”

If you have been involved in an accident which was someone else’s fault, you can call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 and speak to an advisor or visit the website for more information on accident claims.

*Some of the information on this press release has been extracted from the article 'Who, what, why: What is micro sleep? which was published on the BBC website on the 9th January 2014. To find out more, visit

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David Brown
Accident Advice Helpline
since: 06/2010
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