Driving tired one of the biggest killers

TOLL Driver Reviver is urging motorists to watch for signs of fatigue - as research shows we are seven times more likely to crash when driving tired.

Around 20 of all crashes involve driver fatigue, and notably almost 30% of those fatigue-related deaths occur during public and school holiday periods, when people are more likely to drive later at night after social occasions or rushing to get to commitments.

Driver Reviver is a national community program that has been operating on roads around Australia for more than 26 years.

The program is dedicated to reducing fatigue and promoting safe driving behaviours, by encouraging motorists to take regular breaks on their journey.

Sites are staffed by volunteers committed to supporting drivers and their families to arrive at their destinations safely this Christmas.

Toll managing director Brian Kruger said professional drivers spend more time on Australian roads than anyone else, and we are acutely aware of the role fatigue plays in road safety. We're proud to be the major sponsor of Driver Reviver, with a shared goal of reducing the number of fatalities on the road due to fatigue."

"There's no doubt we see an increase in traffic on the roads over the Christmas holiday period, and unfortunately with this comes the increased risk of fatigue-related crashes.

We are urging for motorists to watch for signs of fatigue, such as distraction and restlessness, and take a break before it's too late," said Mr Kruger.

Research shows that a person who has been awake for 17 hours faces the same risk of a crash as a person who has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading of .05. This blood alcohol level is then doubled, if awake for more than 24 hours. Fatigued drivers are therefore seven times more likely to have an accident compared to a person with a zero BAC who is not fatigued.

Driver Reviver director Allan McCormac has three tips for being safe on the roads these holidays:

Plan ahead: Allow for plenty of breaks and if you have children in the vehicle make sure they have enough interesting material to keep them occupied and calm for the whole journey.

Get a good night's rest: Go to bed early, and start your journey feeling refreshed - rethink driving home after a big event.

Look for signs of fatigue: Yawning, rubbing your eyes or feeling restless and distracted?

These are all symptoms of fatigue, do not continue driving. Pull over and swap drivers or nap until safe to continue.

Driver Reviver sites offer motorists a free cup of Bushells tea or coffee, an Arnott's biscuit, or simply a place to stop and chat with the friendly volunteers.

Driver Reviver is powered by its volunteers that come from organisations including Lions Clubs and the SES.

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