The RACV is calling on Victorian motorists to take the risks of fatigue seriously while driving over the Easter weekend.

According to the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), around 30 people die each year (five-year average) in Victoria and up to 200 people suffer serious
injuries in crashes caused by fatigue.

The TAC said driving when tired was a contributing factor in between 16 to 20 percent of all road crashes in Victoria and 1.6 million – or 37 per cent of –
Victorians admit to driving while tired each year.

The RACV is urging motorists to be aware of the signs of fatigue including yawning and heavy eyes, slower reaction times, stiffness or cramps, impatience and microsleeps.

RACV Head of Policy James Williams said that motorists who fall asleep while driving for just four seconds at a speed of 100km/hr will have travelled blind for more than 110 metres.

“In many ways, driving while fatigued is one of the most dangerous things a motorist can do on our roads,” Mr Williams said. “Many people may not know that if you’ve been awake for 17 hours or more, you will be impaired at the same level as someone with a blood alcohol level above 0.05.”

RACV’s focus on fatigue comes ahead of the busy Easter long weekend and a recent RACV poll that revealed most Victorians manage fatigue by taking a break every two hours, closely followed by sharing the driving.

“With so many people heading away for long road tips over the Easter break, it’s absolutely vital to stay alert on the road and have a plan to avoid fatigue,” said Mr Williams. “We’re encouraged by the RACV poll that showed taking a break every two hours was the top way Victorians manage fatigue and we encourage all motorists to have a clear plan to manage fatigue before driving this Easter.”

RACV’s top five tips to avoid fatigue:

  • Avoid travelling for more than eight hours a day and take breaks at least
    every two hours.
  • Plan your trip to include regular rest stops via the arevo app by RACV.
  • Share driving wherever possible.
  • Ensure you’ve slept enough and are well-rested before getting behind the
  • Avoid travelling at times when you’d usually be sleeping.

RACV also encourages motorists to ensure their emergency roadside assistance is up to date before heading off this Easter.

“When it comes to your vehicle preparation, make sure you check your fluid levels under your bonnet, including oil, coolant and even the windscreen washer level. Be sure to check your tyres as well,” Mr Williams said.

This article is based on a media release from the RACV.

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