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Don’t fight fatigue behind the wheel – stop and rest

The latest research from car insurance provider AAMI serves as a reminder to people not to drive when fatigued.

According to the study, men are more likely to doze off while behind the wheel than women.

Nearly 30 per cent of male drivers said that they sometimes close their eyes briefly when driving, almost double that of females (14 per cent).

AAMI spokesperson Reuben Aitchison said that males were also more likely to try and fight fatigue, instead of pulling over to rest.

"On family holidays, it tends to be dad who drives, and men are also more likely to try to push through their fatigue, with half (52 per cent) saying they are prepared to drive for three hours or more without taking a break compared to only a third (38 per cent) of women," Mr Aitchison said.

However, no matter what your gender, the same advice applies to everyone: exercise caution when behind the wheel, do not take risks, and prioritise safety over speed.

Many people try to get to their destination in the shortest time possible, instead of accepting that some journeys take time – and require breaks in driving along the way.

"Nothing helps ease the symptoms of fatigue like taking a break to have a stretch, take a breath of fresh air and a power nap if necessary," Mr Aitchison said.

"We all want to spend more time on holidays, but arriving safely, rather than quickly, should be the number one priority."

Mr Aitchison is urging people to take this advice seriously, as fatigue is one of the main reasons behind fatal car accidents.

Arriving somewhere early is not worth risking the lives of others on the road, or your family.

"Fatigue is one of the deadliest risks on our roads, implicated in up to 30 per cent of fatal crashes in Australia in 2011, so we urge all drivers to heed the advice from experts and take [a] break every two hours to minimise the risk of falling asleep while driving," he said.

AAMI issued this press release in the lead-up to the long labour weekend holiday. Police were also out in full presence over the weekend, to try and enforce the law and protect road users.

That said, this advice applies all year round – not just over holiday periods. It is recommended that people avoid driving fatigued no matter whether they are going five minutes down the road or five hours out of town.

If you are ever involved in an accident, then you may be eligible for compensation. There are lawyers in Sydney who operate on a no win no fee basis and specialise in personal injury law that can help you make a claim.

© 2012 
Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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