One in 10 motorists continue their journey, despite feeling tired

The AA survey found stopping at a garage to get coffee was most popular

One in 10 motorists continue their journey, despite feeling tired

A woman drinks coffee whilst driving (Picture posed by model) | Image: Jonathan Brady PA Archive/PA Images

A new survey has found almost 10% of motorists admit to continuing driving on their journey without stopping, despite feeling the effects of fatigue.

A study of almost 10,000 motorists, carried out by AA Motor Insurance, found that 9.11% of respondents admitted that despite noticing signs of fatigue while driving they had attempted to complete their journey without a break.

The survey found that stopping at a garage or shop to get a coffee or tea was the most popular step taken by drivers suffering from fatigue.

Some 59.24% of those surveyed stated they had previously done this.

However, the absence of suitable rest areas was an issue for a significant number of those surveyed - with 9.64% stating they had tried and failed to find a suitable place to stop for a coffee or a short rest.

AA director of consumer affairs, Conor Faughnan, said: "While it may be tempting for motorists to try to complete their journey despite noticing signs of tiredness, it's important for people not to overlook the impact that fatigue can have on their driving.

"While many motorists will be aware of the dangers of drink-driving, driving while tired can prove to be just as deadly.

"Fatigue behind the wheel can set in quite quickly and without exercising proper caution motorists may be putting themselves and other motorists is serious danger."

Opening a window (51.66%) or stopping in a suitable place for a short rest (39.70%) completed the three most popular steps taken by drivers suffering from fatigue.

But many of those surveyed mentioned that a lack of suitable places to stop deterred them from taking a break from driving, as they did not feel safe doing so.

"The absence of rest areas, particularly on motorways, needs to be reviewed if accidents caused by fatigue are to be prevented in the future," Faughnan continued.

"Almost 10% of motorists mentioned that they attempted and failed to find a suitable place to stop, which means that motorists who are trying to do the right thing are being forced to continue driving in the hopes of finding somewhere to stop despite already identifying signs of fatigue."

Male drivers were slightly more likely than females to continue their journey despite signs of fatigue - with 11.52% of men admitting to doing this compared to 6.99% of women.