Men are almost twice as likely to have a microsleep while driving

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Disclaimer: This survey was conducted by Pure Profile on behalf of Budget Direct in [April 2021]. All figures are from this research unless stated otherwise. The survey was conducted online with a total sample size of [1010] weighted and representative of all Australian adults (aged 18+).

Budget Direct surveyed 1,010 Australians on fatigue and found that men are almost twice as likely to experience a microsleep while driving. 36.8% of men and 19.3% of women told Budget Direct that they had experienced a microsleep episode while driving.

What is microsleeping?

The term “microsleep” refers to brief intermittent moments of sleep that last from 1-10 seconds and can occur throughout the day, sometimes without you even noticing.

Budget Direct’s 2018 survey on microsleeping corroborated that men are more likely to drive while tired. The previous study found that nearly half (47.6%) of men and over a third (35.3%) of women have experienced a microsleep episode at the wheel.

The 2018 survey also found that driver fatigue is more likely to occur on long straight roads, and more commonly on rural highways and motorways.

And both genders felt most tired behind the wheel when they drove between the hours of 7pm and 7am.

Who’s more at risk?

Drivers are more at risk of having a microsleep if they have insomnia or are sleep deprived and it’s recommended that drivers pull over to the side of the road at the first signs of sleepiness. Tired drivers who don’t pull over are more likely to crash.

In Australia, it’s recommended that you take a break every 2 hours and don’t drive for more than 8-10 hours a day.

Budget Direct found that nearly half (42%) of people surveyed thought that they should take a break after every 2 hours when driving long distances in a single stretch while half the respondents believe you can leave it up to 4 hours. Nearly 7% thought you should take a break every 4-7 hours.

What can you do to prevent fatigue?

If you’re looking to put further preventative measures in place you can also plan when to rest and which sites to stop at ahead of your journey.

Driver Reviver is a great resource for drivers in any state looking for driver reviver sites or helpful road trip tips.

There are also designated rest areas drivers can stop at when they need a break. State road authorities in each state can provide you with free maps or charts showing where rest areas are and whether you can stay there overnight.

For more information about rest areas, here are some links you can use:

Preventing driver fatigue has long been an important road safety initiative. While there are no current laws in place for tired driving, there are governing bodies like National Road Safety Week that are continuing to promote road safety education and awareness to the wider public.

This year you can help raise awareness by celebrating National Road Safety Week’s theme, arrive home safe. Get home safe from your next long stretch with National Road Safety Week 2021.

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