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Holiday drivers warned to take regular breaks

23 July 2015

Plan your route so you can take regular rest breaks – that’s Derby and Derbyshire Road Safety Partnership’s message to holiday motorists as research reveals that nearly two-thirds of drivers don’t feel they need to stop on long journeys.

Commenting on the Institute of Advanced Motorists’ survey, partnership chairman Mike Ashworth said: "Research suggests that almost 20 per cent of crashes on major roads are sleep-related - but too many drivers still see tiredness as an inconvenience rather than a danger. That’s why people who wouldn’t dream of getting behind the wheel after drinking will still drive while tired.”

“This summer we’re urging people to plan ahead so they have time to take a fifteen minute break every two hours. Highways England - which is a member of the road safety partnership – makes this easier by offering motorists a range of journey planning tools.”

Mike Ashworth added: “Breakdowns are another common problem that can result in rushed journeys. That’s why we recommend checking your car battery, oil, tyres and lights before setting off on holiday.”

For real-time traffic information, you can:

  • Visit the Highways England website – www.highways.gov.uk 
  • Check one of the Highways England regional Twitter feeds – visit www.highways.gov.uk/twitter for the full list 
  • Use Highways England’s free app for iPhone and Android, which is free to download 
  • Call the Highways England Information Line on 0300 123 5000 (standard national call rates apply) 
  • Check one of Highways England’s digital information screens – these are available at many motorway service stations

Always follow the partnership’s top tips for staying alert while driving:

  • Avoid alcohol and get plenty of sleep the night before your drive 
  • Avoid eating a heavy meal before you set off – it could make you sleepy 
  • Allow yourself enough time to take a 15 minute break every two hours 
  • Avoid travelling between 2am and 7am or 2pm and 4pm – this is when drivers are most likely to crash due to tiredness 
  • Take a break if you feel tired - two cups of coffee and a cat nap can help if you’ve only got a short distance left to travel. If not find somewhere safe to stay overnight.