Tuesday 23 April 2019

Eddie Cunningham: A shocking one-in-six drivers admit they've fallen asleep at the wheel

Tired driver
Tired driver
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

WE just don't get it on driving while tired.

It is a major factor in accidents, we know that. But it seems we don't pay enough heed to warnings.

A new survey underlines just how reckless we can be.

It found that a substantial number of motorists admitted to having driven while they felt drowsy and were in danger of nodding off.

As many as one in six have fallen asleep at the wheel, according to the new SmartWitness survey. That's a huge number.

Some 47pc revealed they had been a danger to themselves or others.

And men appeared to be bigger offenders (24pc) than women (10pc).

The frightening thing is that 89pc admitted they drove knowing full well they were tired - and blamed intense pressure from work or home life.

Sorry, but you can only blame yourself in such circumstances.

A mere 48pc said they "always stop and take a break" when tired.

Nearly half the drivers stayed at the wheel but opened the car window.

The next most widespread tactic to beat drowsiness was having a coffee (37pc), while 24pc chewed gum (!) and 16pc turned up the radio (16pc).

One in eight turned the car heater to cold.

Meanwhile, I hate coming back to potholes again, but there is no escaping the fact that some roads - and some parts of the country - are absolutely riddled with them.

Yes, we have good motorways and some excellent primary routes. But as soon as you move out of those and onto the roads most people use in rural Ireland, then you're into some really poor-quality surfaces.

I know there are far more pressing matters for the Government right now, but I believe in some cases the deterioration of many roads has become a major safety issue. Maybe I'm wrong.

What do you think? Tell me at ecunningham@independent.ie.

Meanwhile, in other motoring news:

* KIA is to reveal its first 48-volt diesel mild-hybrid later in the year. The new 'EcoDynamics+' powertrain is claimed to cut CO2 emissions by boosting acceleration from a 48-volt battery. It will come first in the brand's Sportage SUV and later in the new Ceed small family car.

* Rolls-Royce's Cullinan will become the world's most expensive production SUV when it goes on sale at the end of the year. The brand's first SUV will cost around €300,000, but anticipated demand for personal options will inflate that sum significantly.

The car is built on the same aluminium platform that underpins the Phantom and all future new cars from the company.

It is driven by the same 570hp, 6.75-litre, twin-turbo V12 petrol engine as the Phantom. Different world.

* Volvo are showing the first new V60 estate here. The hand-built demonstration model is on show at the brand's pop-up shop on Merrion Row in Dublin from May 11 to June 8.

* Just for the record, approximately 1,268 SEAT cars are affected by the latest seatbelt recall, including 821 Ibizas and 447 Aronas. The Spanish company is advising customers not to use the middle seat of the Ibiza or Arona until the cars have been equipped with a redesigned belt lock fixture.

Irish Independent

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