Sunday 28th March spells the official start to British Summer Time as the clocks go forward giving us an extra hour of daylight. However, even though the summer days will be lighter, this also means we lose an hour of sleep. GEM Motoring Assist (GEM), road safety and breakdown cover organisation, is warning all drivers to make sure they adapt their routine accordingly and are aware of the effects of fatigue when on the roads.
According to ROSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), research suggests that ‘up to 20% of accidents on monotonous roads are fatigue related’, and losing an hour of sleep is only going to increase levels of tiredness amongst drivers and in turn heighten the chances of a serious accident.
David Williams MBE, CEO of GEM comments, “Feeling fatigued can reduce reaction time, alertness and concentration, and when driving at speed along a motorway no one can afford to take any chances. Drivers must ensure they take regular breaks, eat and drink to keep energy levels up and even have a short nap at a service station if necessary. We are urging people to take into consideration the fact that they will lose an hour’s sleep this weekend, especially if going on a long a drive. Even better, why not take this opportunity to get that much needed early night?”
GEM is also keen to raise awareness of the benefits of having more daylight hours all year round. David Williams continues, “We strongly feel that the clocks should be kept at British Summer time all year round largely from a safety perspective. The roads can be a dangerous place and in the dark all road users are at a greater risk. Our primary concern is the number of school children who start and finish their day in the dark in winter, especially for those who make their own way home. Their safety should be a number one priority and we believe that keeping British Summer Time would be a step in the right direction to improving road safety.”
For more information on all aspects of road safety please visit www.motoringassist.com. GEM also offers a wide range of great value breakdown policies to fit all road users.