Drowsiness

A 15-minute powernap could save your life

Humans spend around one third of a lifetime sleeping, and that's because we need to. Our busy schedules can often get in the way though, and we pressure ourselves to the point of not getting enough rest. The less sleep we get, the more we are at risk on the road.

Tiredness, including drowsy driving, accounts for around 20% of fatal road crashes and 30% of severe single-vehicle crashes in rural areas. Studies show someone who has been awake for 17 hours has the same level of impairment as someone with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05.

Drowsiness is caused by a lack of quality sleep. If you've had a long day, it's best not to start a long trip. And if you do have to drive, remember that taking a 15-minute powernap could save your life.

As part of the Towards Zero Action Plan, we’re investigating and trialling possible testing to detect drivers who are impaired from tiredness or other causes.

The following tips can help you prevent driving while drowsy:

  • Get enough good quality sleep before any drive – long or short.
  • Plan your trip in advance and take regular breaks every two hours.
  • Start your drive in the morning after a good night's sleep.
  • Avoid driving late at night and very early in the morning.
  • Use Driver Reviver stops if they are available, or stop and have a coffee break in a town or rest area along the way.
  • Take a power nap – 15 minutes could be all you need to recharge.

Find out how we’re targeting other road safety issues.