Fatigued Black Friday drivers warned about road safety risk

Posted in Connect on November 25, 2019.

Driving for work is a high-risk activity, people who drive for work are 40% more likely than other drivers to be involved in a collision. It is estimated that driving for work accounts for involvement in 1 to 3 road collisions every year. Driving for work is one of the most dangerous things most employers ask staff to do, While drivers are responsible for how they drive, employers have duties in helping to make driving for work safer. Concerns have been raised over safety risks associated with ‘fatigued’ delivery drivers ahead of the busy Christmas period, starting with ‘Black Friday’ (29th Nov).

Exhausted delivery drivers could pose a road safety risk over the next few weeks as thousands of staff are urged to work long hours to cope with the rush of online orders around.

Delivery drivers are being pushed more than ever to get parcels out to homes as the Ireland shapes up for the discount shopping day, which is set to have the most online sales of any Black Friday to date. Being fatigued significantly increases the risk of a crash. It makes us less aware of what is happening on the road and impairs our ability to respond quickly and safely if a dangerous situation arises. The safest driver is an alert one. Driving while tired reduces the ability to concentrate and be vigilant, which means it’s much harder to pay attention and make quick, responsible decisions.

Noel Gibbons Road safety Officer said “This is an issue that has been highlighted in other Countries over the past number of years so we are appealing to Fleet owners and managers who can minimise the risk of tiredness by planning driver shifts with more precision, taking into account how many hours sleep they will be getting between shifts and whether or not they will be tired when at the wheel. The problem is not just confined to fleet drivers, with stores launching their Black Friday sales as early as Thursday evening, drivers who stay up all night shopping may increase their risk of getting drowsy or even falling asleep at the wheel. With some stores traditionally opening as early as 6 a.m. on the day, many sleepy shoppers are on the roads. As the day wears on and drivers become more fatigued, careless accidents are sure to happen.

It’s important to schedule in time for regular breaks. Even if traffic or other factors delay the set schedule, it’s important that drivers take their breaks – safety first before deadlines.

Lets not make it a black day on our roads

“No one wants to have an unlucky start to the festive season, so for black Friday we’re reminding people to be up for the challenge of driving every time they get behind the wheel,” he said.

“Pay attention, drive to the conditions and give plenty of space and consideration to other drivers sharing the road.”

Driver Fatigue – Stop. Sip. Sleep

#StopSipSleep Driver fatigue is estimated to be a contributory factor in 1 in 5 driver deaths in Ireland every year, based on international evidence. This Bank Holiday weekend if you're on the road, please stay safe.

Posted by Road Safety Authority Ireland on Friday, May 31, 2019


Eighteen out of 40 work-related fatalities last year were vehicle related and those who died were mostly men. Thirteen of those 18 were workers and five were non-workers, while 13 of the incidents happened in the workplace and five occurred on a public road.

Of the 915 road traffic fatalities in the State between 2008 and 2011, analysis suggested some 23 per cent of them were work related.

The dangers of driving while tired:

  • 4,000 people are killed per year throughout Europe because of driver tiredness
  • Driver fatigue contributes to 1 in 5 deaths in Ireland
  • Tiredness related collisions are 3 times more likely to result in death or serious injury
  • Fatigue related injuries are more likely to occur between 2 and 6 am and 3 and 5 pm
  • A motorist is 13 times more likely to have a tiredness related collision in the early morning than in the mid-morning or afternoon

Symptoms of driver fatigue

It is very difficult for drivers to accurately assess their own level of fatigue. The ability to self- assess becomes increasingly impaired as you get more fatigued, however the self-confidence in this ability remains. Nevertheless, there are some warning signs to look out for, including:

  • Trouble focussing, or narrowing of attention
  • Head nodding, or inability to keep the eyes open
  • Not remembering the last few minutes
  • Poor judgement, slower reaction time
  • “Zoning out”
  • Daydreaming and wandering thoughts
  • Constant yawning or rubbing your eyes
  • Drifting in the lane

Keep in mind that if you are experiencing any of these symptoms of driver fatigue, it is very likely that your driving performance is already impaired.

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