11th June 2008
Happy Father’s Daze
Doting dads are a hazard on the road
With the birth rate at an all time high and the majority of new fathers unwilling to take their full two weeks paternity leave, sleep deprived dads need to wake up to the dangers of falling asleep at the wheel.
Feeding a naughty nipper in the wee small hours may be irresistible to doting dads but leading high street insurance retailer, Swinton, is warning bleary eyed fathers that 20% of accidents are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel, according to The Department of Transport.
Government figures show that only one in five fathers take the paternity leave they are entitled to, resulting in thousands of exhausted new dads on the road.*
Chris Collings, Insurance Development Director at Swinton, said: “Research by the Association of British Drivers has suggested that a driver who has had less than five hours of sleep can be as dangerous as a drunken driver.
In fact, when your sleep debt gets too big there is nothing you can do to keep yourself awake. As much as we love our new ‘bundles of joy’ consecutive nights of disrupted sleep can stack up and lead to dad’s driving in around in a daze.”
Driving when tired can create dangerous risks. Accidents tend to be more severe as they often result in high impact speeds due to a lack of braking or swerving beforehand.**
Nodding off just a few seconds at the wheel can be fatal: if you are driving on a motorway at 70mph and nod off for six seconds you could travel nearly 200 metres. If you are found to be driving tired, you may be charged with careless or dangerous driving.***
This Fathers Day Swinton is offering driving advice for all new dads on the road:
- If you expecting a few nights of disrupted sleep and regularly drive to meetings or appointments consider alternative modes of transport, if practical, such as taxis or trains. Or look into the opportunities to set up telephone and video conferences where possible
- If there are others in your office that live in the same area set up a car-sharing pool, or research local car-sharing schemes, try www.liftshare.co.uk
- Whilst on a journey if you feel tired, pull over and take a 15-30 minute nap
- A caffeine boost can help in the short term but is not a substitute for sleep
- Easier said than done, but try to get around six hours of sleep each night
Information taken from:
* Fatherhood Institute
**Loughborough University Sleep Research Centre
***Department of Transport
Notes to Editors:
For further information please contact Adele Mandy, Pete Wrathmell or Daniel Kennedy at Spinoza Kennedy Vesey PR on Tel: 0161 838 7770 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• With 470 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK’s largest high street insurance retailer.
• Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and being part of the community.
• Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance
• With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates
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