Driver fatigue causes hundreds of road accidents each year.
The stark fact is, accidents such as these are roughly 50 per cent more likely to result in death or serious injury.
In 2018, 14 people died on Scotland’s roads due to fatigue (9 per cent of all road deaths). One in 3 UK drivers (31 per cent) admit having experienced a microsleep at the wheel.
When drivers fall asleep, they are unable to brake or swerve, so accidents tend to be high-speed collisions.
In August 2019, a Fatal Accident Inquiry ruled that an Edinburgh taxi driver who was killed in a head-on crash when he took the wrong slip road into oncoming traffic had been driving tired.
Tragic cabbie John Nisbet, 72, was nearing the end of a 13-hour shift when his black cab collided with a van travelling the opposite way.
In a bid to tackle harrowing road deaths such as Mr Nisbet’s, a new driver fatigue campaign has been launched by the Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland.
The thought-provoking campaign has been launched with a clear message for all drivers – Driving Tired Kills. Watch the video below.
“You start to go into a kind of microsleep when tired,” Blair says. “You can start to feel your eyes starting to close. You can start to yawn quite significantly.”
Blair was driving home from a long shift on Christmas Day and was trying to stay awake to make it home to his family.
He followed the ‘old wives tales’ such as keeping his window open and blaring music from his vehicle in a bid to stay alert on the road.
Fortunately, he made the wise decision of making a pit stop at a service station. He woke up three hours later to a dozen missed calls from work colleagues and from his wife.
If he hadn’t made that stop, Blair believes he could have been involved in a serious road accident.
“I think now with the pressures of work and the gig economy, the temptation is there for people to drive while they’re tired,” Blair admits.
“I would never even contemplate the idea after having that experience if I felt even remotely tired now.
“Treat it as seriously as you would if you were drunk. You don’t get behind the wheel when you’re drunk. Don’t do it when you’re tired.”
What to do if a fatigued driver causes an accident
It can be difficult to assess on your own whether a driver who caused a road traffic accident, injuring either yourself or a loved one, was tired at the time they were driving.
Driving while fatigued or sleepy leads to impairment of driving performance by increasing reaction times and reducing attention, compromising decision-making and our ability to control the vehicle. It’s incredibly risky.
If you notice that a driver seems sleepy or looks bleary-eyed when exchanging insurance details, be sure to report this to police or any witnesses at the scene.
Driving while fatigued is a form of negligence. Every driver should have an adequate level of mental alertness behind the wheel.
How do I start a claim?
Whenever you feel ready to start your claim, contact us for a free assessment. We understand it might be difficult to talk about the accident and our solicitors are highly trained when it comes to handling sensitive circumstances.
It would be helpful if you’re able to provide the following information (see below) when you start a claim but don’t worry if you can’t supply everything. Some people will be taken to the hospital straight away so they won’t have a clue who caused the accident or might be in shock. It’s important to reassure them we can help with obtaining necessary paperwork. We can always get accident circumstances from police if they obtain police report.
If you are able to, the main details which can assist with your claim include;
• Accident Location/Time & Date;
• How the collision occurred/circumstances of the accident;
• Your vehicle make/model and registration number;
• Name and address of the other party involved in the collision;
• A note of their vehicle make/model and registration number;
• Details of your injuries as well as a note of your GP surgery as well as any hospitals you have attended for treatment.
Once you’ve been through the initial steps, we will handle everything on your behalf and contact the person responsible for your accident to let them know you are seeking compensation for your injuries and any associated accident damages.
We will keep you updated on the progress of your claim at all times so you don’t have to worry about anything.