London, 19 Oct 2004.
For immediate release.

Contact the ABD

Press Release

Tired Driving a Far Bigger Problem than Speeding
Is It a Result of Government Policy?
Tired driving causes 17% of deaths and serious injuries whilst drivers breaking the speed limit cause only around 3 to 4%. The ABD questions whether the two could be related?
ABD road safety spokesman Mark McArthur-Christie explained:
"The government have in recent years targeted all their efforts to stop drivers setting their speeds at a safe level for the road conditions by ratcheting down limits and enforcing them in a draconian fashion. As a result many drivers are driving in a 'switched out' fashion, becoming 'cruise missiles' as they crawl along at an unnaturally slow speed. Their journeys take far longer and concentration wanders whilst blindly following the car in front."
McArthur-Christie continued:
"The sort of driving now being encouraged is obviously far more likely to induce sleepiness than driving naturally whilst continually adjusting speed for the road conditions and perceived hazards — this is emphasised by the DfT's figures which show 32% of sleep related crashes caused by goods vehicles. This is much a much higher proportion than the 67% caused by cars when the relative numbers on the road are taken into account yet goods vehicles are fitted with tachographs to prevent extended driving hours. The ABD questions whether the problem could be caused because they are electronically governed to 56MPH."
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said:
"Some serious research is urgently needed into the effects of the DfT's speed policies. As there is much evidence that the 3-4% of fatal and serious injury crashes that occur above the speed limit are caused by drunk/drugged drivers or those in stolen cars, it would seem that the 'one trick pony' of recent years is a futile way of attempting to reduce casualties anyway as the sober, legal driver crashing above the speed limit is a very rare animal. Perhaps now the DfT will recognise the negative impacts of their 'dumbing down' of driving standards in the UK".


Notes for Editors