New blood test can tell if drivers are sleepy

A new blood test, which could help identify if motorists were driving tired, has been labelled an interesting development in road safety technology by RACQ, with fatigue one of the top five killers on Queensland roads.

Researchers at the  at the University of Surrey in the UK, have found 68 genes that could show whether a blood sample had come from a sleep deprived person.

RACQ spokesperson Clare Hunter said RACQ would be watching the research with interest, though it was ultimately the driver’s responsibility to ensure they were not fatigued when behind the wheel.

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“This kind of technology is exciting and we look forward to seeing future developments,” Ms Hunter said.

“Fatigue is a huge problem on Queensland roads and is one of the Fatal Five for a reason – it’s one of the biggest killers despite being so easily preventable.

“Anything which has the potential to help detect unsafe road user behaviour is a good thing, but even better would be if motorists took responsibility for their own behaviours and didn’t get behind the wheel when tired.

“We know more than one third of Queensland motorists have admitted to driving while fatigued, which is frightening. Driving while tired, can be as dangerous as drink-driving.

“Blasting the radio, coffee or energy drinks or driving with the windows down isn’t the answer. The only cure for tiredness is sleep.”