Tired drivers responsible for one death a day

Richard Laycock 10 August 2017 NEWS

shutterstock car crash accident 738x410

The Sleep Health Foundation says sleep-starved Australians should be treated like drunks.

Over 10% of all deaths caused by inadequate sleep were attributable to people falling asleep at the wheel or industrial accidents induced by a lack of sleep, warns the Sleep Health Foundation.

Driver fatigue is one of the top three contributors to road deaths in Australia, but there are no laws that govern driver fatigue.

The Sleep Health Foundation Report by Deloitte Access Economics recommends that people who drive while tired should lose their licences just the same as people who are caught drink driving.

“More than 185,000 people have died on Australian roads since the road toll began in 1925. When you consider that one in every five car accidents is related to fatigue that is a lot of harm caused by people not getting the sleep they need,” said Professor David Hillman.

It is hoped that in the future the police will be able to measure how tired a driver is, similar to how a breathalyser detects alcohol.

“For too many people, driving tired is a dangerously normal part of everyday life. This behaviour is causing crashes and costing lives. It’s time we treated sleep deprivation like alcohol and regulated against it," Professor Hillman said.

To find out more about the dangerous things Australians do while behind the wheel, check out the finder.com.au 2017 Safe Driving Report.

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