Nearly one in 10 Irish motorists have experienced "nodding off" at the wheel 4 years ago

Nearly one in 10 Irish motorists have experienced "nodding off" at the wheel

Lack of sleep remains a dangerous issue for Irish drivers.

48% of Irish drivers have driven on less than five hours of sleep, according to a new report.


The survey – which was conducted among Irish motor and home insurance owners by Liberty Insurance – showed an alarmingly high number of people are driving while fatigued, with 11% of Irish drivers admitting to driving on less than five hours of sleep at least a couple of times a week, and 3% claiming to do it every day.

Results of the report also found that, when tired, a huge 88% of drivers use various coping strategies to cope with fatigue, while only 14% of drivers let someone else take over the driving.

The survey also found that:

  • 47% of drivers roll down the windows when tired
  • 45% drink coffee
  • 7% of drivers admitted that they had experienced nodding off at the wheel
  • 3% (rising to 10% in Dublin) reported that they had fallen asleep while driving

The survey also suggests that people seem to be far more likely to notice the impacts of fatigued driving in other people quicker than they would notice it in themselves.

43% of those surveyed noted that they had travelled in a car driven by another fatigued person.

When observing other fatigued drivers:

  • 59% reported persistent yawning
  • 34% reported slow reaction times to hazards on the road
  • 25% noticed late braking

When asked about their own experiences when driving tired:

  • 39% reported persistent yawning
  • 13% reported slow reaction times to hazards on the roads
  • and just 10% noticed late braking

To help with long journies and staying alert on the road, a few handy tips have been provided to ensure that you get to your destination safe and sound:

  • Plan the route in advance and for longer journeys, take note of rest areas where you can take a break, have a coffee and stretch your legs.
  • Avoid driving alone on long-distance trips.
  • Passengers can both share in the driving and participate in conversation, which can help you stay awake.
  • Stay hydrated before and during your journey.
  • Allow yourself ample time to reach your destination so you can take frequent breaks. Try to stop every two hours / every 150kms.
  • Make a point of getting out of the car and walking short distances, when safe to do so.
  • Driving for long period at night makes fatigue far more likely. Avoid late night driving if you can.