Alarming new research finds tired parents push limits

RACQ has issued a major wake up call to new parents after alarming research found they could be among the most dangerous on the road.

The Courier Mail reported new mums and dads with babies who had poor sleep habits were three times more likely to suffer from fatigue compared to those who slept well, which could affect their ability to drive safely.

RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith said driving without enough rest was just dangerous as drink driving.

“We know driving on less than five hours sleep increases the chance of having a crash threefold,” Ms Smith said.

“In fact, going 17 hours without some shut eye is equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05, so your reaction time and reflexes are significantly compromised.

“So, whether you’re an exhausted new parent or someone who might be pushing the limits on a long road trip – if you’re tired, you really shouldn’t be getting behind the wheel.”

Ms Smith said there was only one proven way to fight fatigue and urged drivers not to rely on quick fixes.

“Energy drinks, coffee or a sugar hit only mask the symptoms of fatigue. There is only one cure for tiredness, and that’s sleep,” she said.

“Get a good night’s rest before you hit the road and if you’re feeling tired, pull over and take a break. It could save a life.”