x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Sleeping drivers are to blame for many road accidents, say police

Hauliers are failing to make enough stops on long journeys.

ABU DHABI // Drivers who fall asleep at the wheel are the cause of a large percentage of the accidents on Al Gharbia's roads, the region's traffic head said yesterday. So far this year, 54 accidents have been recorded in which the driver veered off the road. Police said that, in some circumstances, the drivers failed to remember the circumstances of the accident.

Major Ahmed al Shamsi, the director of the region's traffic police department, said lorry drivers who failed to take enough stops were one of the primary causes of such collisions. "Lots of the accidents between trucks and small vehicles are from not having a good time for rest," he said, adding that drivers were continuing on the road "without thinking that the body needs some rest". Although lorry drivers in Europe and the US face obligatory rest stops and limits on the hours they drive, the UAE has no such restrictions.

Professor Andrew Parkes, the chief scientist at the British Transport Research Laboratory, said: "Sometimes you drive and you know that you are very tired but you don't really know quite how close you are to actually falling asleep. "Obviously people make that mistake and that's why you have so many of these fatigue-related collisions."
mchung@thenational.ae

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