Plan ahead - factor rest breaks into journey times

Warnings have resurfaced recently about the risks of long haul journeys following a spate of accidents. Van drivers across the country are being told to ensure they take adequate rest breaks in a bid to reduce the number of accidents occurring as a result of tiredness behind the wheel.

In a recent survey carried out by a collaboration of some of the UK’s leading insurers, 1,200 online customers were asked about their driving habits on long haul journeys. Shockingly, 16% admitted to momentarily nodding off behind the wheel in the past three years, whilst a massive 73% of van drivers admitted to not taking regular breaks, even though official guidelines recommend a stop every two to three hours.

Tired drivers are much more likely to be involved in a road accident. The risks are increased greatly as reaction times are far slower, and tired drivers tend to drift between lanes, unable to keep a steady course. Accidents involving drivers asleep at the wheel also tend to be far worse as they will not have identified the risks, so will not have applied the brakes, leading to higher speed collisions.

Van drivers on long haul journeys should take the following steps:

  • If you know you are due to make a long haul journey, plan ahead and factor in rest stops every two or three hours.
  • Make sure you get a goodnight’s sleep before a long journey.
  • If you can feel yourself nodding off immediately take a break.
  • If at all possible, avoid journeys between midnight and 6am, as this is the time when natural alertness is at its lowest.

If all van drivers were to take the above measures then van insurance premiums would be reduced drastically, as would the needless fatalities. Van Compare specialises in scouring the market to find you cheap van insurance quotes.

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