Suffolk among worst counties for crashes caused by tired drivers

Suffolk came ninth on a list of counties with the most road collisions caused by driver fatigue last

Suffolk came ninth on a list of counties with the most road collisions caused by driver fatigue last year Photo: BILL SMITH - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

Suffolk has been labelled a ‘hotspot’ of sleepy drivers after recording the ninth most road accidents caused by tiredness.

The county was listed among the top 10 for the amount of reported collisions where driver fatigue was a contributing factor last year.

Department for Transport statistics showed that tiredness contributed to 31 of the 2,517 accidents attended by police on the county’s road network.

Essex and Norfolk came higher in the list – compiled by The Luxury Bed Company – with both counties recording a higher number and percentage of road accidents caused by fatigue.

The biggest contributing factor across Suffolk last year was failure to look properly (403), failure to judge other person’s path or speed (206) and careless, reckless or hurried driving (196)

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Although the number of fatal crashes fell by one to 24 last year, the number of serious collisions rose 6% to 318 – with 38 caused by excess speed and 32 by alcohol impairment. Both are among the ‘fatal four’ most common causes of serious and fatal collisions – along with using a mobile phone and not wearing a seat belt.

Last year, more than 1,500 road accidents were caused by fatigue on Britain’s roads.

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As part of its study, The Luxury Bed Company warned that getting behind the wheel when very tired can be as dangerous as driving after drinking alcohol, adding: “After 18 hours awake, your driving is comparable to that of a person with a blood alcohol concentration of .05. At this blood alcohol concentration, you are likely to experience impaired coordination and judgement, lowered response times, and your vision may become blurry.

“In 2019 alone, 1,506 road accidents in Great Britain were caused by fatigue, but these can often be prevented by taking a few steps.

“Take regular breaks during long drives. You should plan ahead to stop at specific service stations to ensure that you can stop safely when driving long distances.

“Think about what you’re eating before setting off on journeys. Eating a heavy meal just before starting your drive is likely to make you feel more tired.

“Don’t drive for more than eight hours in one day. If you need to drive a longer distance, you should plan for an overnight stay during your journey.

“Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before long journeys.”

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