Sydney, Australia (PressExposure) April 16, 2009 -- An alarming number of Victorian drivers are ignoring advice to break their drive, prompting a reminder from AAMI and VICSES for holiday travellers to put safety first, and rest or change drivers every two hours this Easter.
"In their hurry to get there faster, two-thirds of Victorian drivers (66 per cent) will travel for 2Â½ hours or more without having a break, and worse still, one in eight (13 per cent) will drive four or more hours without a rest," said AAMI Public Relations Manager Emma Watts.
"When you consider a quarter of Victorian drivers (23 per cent) admit having momentarily fallen asleep at the wheel, that so many drivers would put themselves and other road users at such risk is incredibly dangerous and irresponsible," she said.
Road safety experts recommend motorists change drivers or take a break every two hours. Unfortunately, AAMI's research shows just one in five Victorian drivers (22 per cent) are heeding this advice, and more than one-third of drivers (34 per cent) are unlikely to stop for a powernap.
"Along with speed and alcohol, fatigue is one of the main contributors to road fatalities and injuries; that so many drivers are foregoing the very basic and simple step of having a short rest just to get to their destination a few minutes faster is of concern," Ms Watts said.
"Fatigue has been a factor in crashes for every one in nine Victorian drivers (11 per cent). Sadly, most of these crashes could have been avoided had the driver taken time for a short rest."
Together with VICSES, AAMI is urging Easter holiday travellers to take advantage of the many Driver Reviver sites that will be in operation throughout Victoria this holiday weekend.
"Victorians are no strangers to Driver Reviver sites and while it is pleasing that three in five (57 per cent) have stopped and used one in the past, we would like that to increase," Ms Watts said.
"VICSES volunteers put in a huge effort to help improve safety for all road users and there can be no better way to repay them than by stopping at a Driver Reviver site and saying 'thanks'."
Thirty five SES Units will operate Driver Reviver sites on Victorian roads this long weekend, providing free coffee, tea and biscuits to drivers and their families.
Tips to avoid fatigue:
- Avoid starting a trip at the end of the day Ensure you are well-rested before you leave - Don't drive when you would normally be asleep - Schedule regular rest breaks outside the vehicle - 10-15 minutes rest every 90 minutes - Share the driving where possible - Never drink alcohol (not even small quantities) before or during long trips - Allow extra time and take a powernap if tired