'Zombie drivers' - the frightening danger on our roads

RACQ has issued a serious plea to Queensland drivers to wake up to the danger of fatigue, as startling research carried out by the Club revealed one third of motorists continued to drive tired despite knowing the fatal risks.

RACQ spokesperson Clare Hunter said more than 95 percent of Queenslanders considered fatigued drivers a danger on our roads, yet more than 35 percent still got behind the wheel while tired.

“With so many people fighting sleep while driving, every third driver has admitted to basically being a zombie sometime in the last 12 months,” Ms Hunter said.

“Fatigue is one of the Fatal Five causes of road deaths in Queensland and can be as dangerous as driving drunk. 

“Even a brief lapse in concentration can have a deadly outcome. Last year, 30 people were killed in fatigue related crashes in Queensland and hundreds more were hospitalised with serious injuries.”

As part of National Road Safety Week, Ms Hunter urged motorists to think long and hard about whether they were up to the challenge of driving they before hit the road.

“This week is the perfect time to revisit the choices we make every time we get behind the wheel. We know we shouldn’t be driving while we’re tired, so don’t gamble on a cup of coffee or blasting the radio to get you through,” she said. 

“Get a good night’s sleep before you hit the road, avoid driving at times you’re normally in bed and if you’re on a long journey, stop every two hours for a break.

“Fatigue can easily creep up on you, so be on the lookout for those early warning signs like feeling drowsy, yawning, blinking more than usual, having difficulty concentrating, failing to notice road signs or landmarks or slow reactions to traffic. It could save a life.”