Fatigue, a scourge on our roads: 1 in 6 accidents due to poor sleep
Posted On March 19, 2021
Among the causes of road accidents, alcohol consumption and excessive speed are the most common. They generate hundreds of serious and unfortunately fatal accidents every year. Just as dangerous, fatigue causes very serious accidents every year. But it seems better accepted by the population: although many motorists refuse to drive too fast or under the influence of alcohol, more of them continue to drive despite sometimes extreme fatigue.
According to the Walloon Road Safety Agency (AWSR), one in six injured accidents is due to drowsiness at the wheel. Even more on the highways, the monotony of which can make you fall asleep. “A driver who has slept an average of five hours a night for several consecutive days is six times more likely to have an accident than a driver who has slept eight hours on average, says Michaël Scholze, spokesperson for AWSR. This means an additional risk equivalent to that of a person driving with more than 1 g / l of alcohol in their blood. Or double the legal rate! For the rider, the risk of falling is even multiplied by 14. “
Yet one in two drivers say they can withstand fatigue for a trip of an hour or less. “The resulting accidents are often serious because the driver does not brake.”
AWSR’s message on this International Sleep Day is all the more important given that, over the past year, confinement has seriously affected the quality of our sleep. “Citizens spent more time behind a screen: videoconferences, virtual aperitifs…, Continues Michaël Scholze. However, it has been proven that too much screen increases fatigue. Lack of physical activity – and therefore fatigue after exercise – and teleworking also push people to go to bed later. This build-up of fatigue damages our body clock and can have serious consequences on the road. “
With one week before the clock change, AWSR’s message is clear: get plenty of rest before you hit the road. And at the slightest sign of fatigue, take a break, even if you are 20 minutes from your destination.