Aim for zero road trauma this Easter

It’s tragic but true that road trauma is nearly as synonymous with Easter as chocolate eggs.

Every Easter, lives are lost or shattered as people hit the road to make the most of the extended break. During 2017, 158 people were killed in crashes on WA roads. Alarmingly, 90 of those deaths occurred on regional roads.

What will you do to prevent another Easter tragedy and another terrible year on WA roads?

If you’re planning on travelling this Easter, make sure you’re not fatigued – it’s the silent killer on our roads and one of the biggest risks during holidays.

About 30% of all fatal road crashes in WA are fatigue-related. Fatigue crashes are twice as likely to be fatal than any other crash.

The most common period for fatigue-related crashes is between 1 am and 6 am when our body clock tells us we should be asleep. For the same reason, shift-workers are at higher risk of fatigue-related crashes – six times higher.

About 7-8 hours of continuous, quality sleep per 24-hour period is needed to avoid fatigue behind the wheel. Get less and you build up a sleep debt. Shift-work, medication and long-distance driving can also impact your fatigue levels behind the wheel.

Drive tired and you risk a micro-sleep – a sudden nap that can last for 3-30 seconds. If you fall asleep for just 4 seconds while travelling at 100kmh, your car will travel for 111m with no one in control. Just think what could happen over that distance.

Driving tired is like driving drunk. Driving after being awake for 17-19 hours is the same as driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.05%. Drive after being awake for 24 hours and it’s like driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.1%.  Being tired behind the wheel slows reaction times and impairs concentration, coordination and decision-making.

If you’re thinking of driving this Easter, make sure you get plenty of rest before you head off.

Let’s all aim for zero road trauma this Easter.

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