Car accident injuries are often linked to drink driving and excessive speed, but Transport for New South Wales is targeting a less-discussed factor that often results in fatal car crashes: tired driving.
Minister for Roads Duncan Gay recently unveiled the Transport Ministry's new campaign that aims to not only raise awareness of the dangers of tired driving, but even distinguish between feeling tired and being overly fatigued.
He stated that all too often drivers don't know how much feeling tired can affect their driving skills. In addition to speeding and drink driving, tired driving is one of the top three killers on New South Wales' roads.
"Crashes due to tiredness are also twice as likely to be fatal than other crashes. You can’t brake while you’re asleep," Minister Gay said.
"You might be a good driver, but your tired self isn’t. Do not trust them behind the wheel."
Tired driving was directly responsible for 62 roadway fatalities last year, and led to another 1,959 car accident injuries. This toll is higher than the number of people killed in drink driving crashes.
Now is the time to put a 'safety spotlight' on tired driving
Minister Gay added that the statistics surrounding car accidents linked to tired driving are enough to "bring driving tired into the road safety spotlight", and the new campaign was designed to do just that.
Marg Prendergast, general manager of Transport for NSW's Centre for Road Safety, said that although tired driving is most closely associated with driving through the night, it's actually a problem that affects drivers at any time of day.
Anytime someone gets behind the wheel, she stated, it's important for them to take stock of how tired they are and assess the danger of the drive, regardless of whether it's day or night.
Minister Gay stated the new campaign will set itself apart from previous awareness programs by differentiating between driving "fatigued" and driving "tired".
"Research tells us that people who would think of themselves as being tired, wouldn’t necessarily think they are fatigued. It might sound like semantics, but it’s an important change in our language to drive the message home to more people," he said.
Those who have been involved in a car accident may want to contact compensation lawyers, as legal options may be available.