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Tis the season to be worn out!

During this festive season most of us will be running around shopping and meeting with friends and family to celebrate their hard earned break.  Even though we hope most drivers will have managed to get their full eight hours sleep, this isn’t always the case and we need to be aware we could be sharing the road with many a stressed and exhausted scrooge. This week’s tips give advice on how to deal with fatigue whilst travelling during this busy season, from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards Richard Gladman.

  • Plan your journey before you set off. Having a full understanding of your route allows the drive to be smoother and also lets you know where you can take 20 minute breaks if needed


  • On long trips travel when you would normally be awake to minimise the risk of falling asleep at the wheel... Driving between 12am and 6am and just after lunch are the times when our bodies would most like to be asleep


  • Don’t start a long trip if you feel exhausted. Prevention is better than cure. It’s better to ask someone else to drive or take public transport as opposed to putting yours and other lives at risk by being on the road


  • Take proper breaks every two hours and don’t rely on caffeine or energy drinks alone. Caffeine based products are a temporary fix that will only allow you to stay awake for a short period of time


  • Implement a ‘buddy’ system. Driving with a partner on long trips can be the safest thing to do. You can take turns every two hours, whilst the other takes a nap or rests. Make sure you passengers are comfortable and the children have some activities to keep them occupied


Richard said: “Christmas driving can be a pleasure if you plan ahead and chart a smooth course around the last minute shoppers and the 24/7 deliveries.  Always take some time to load the car properly as those nicely wrapped presents could become dangerous projectiles if you have to brake suddenly.


Notes to editors:

  1. Richard Gladman is IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards.
  2. IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

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