Don’t trust your tired self, says police

POLICE are appealing to Clarence Valley motorists not to 'trust their tired self' to reduce the risk of driver fatigue on NSW roads.

Raising awareness of the impact of driving while tired is paramount to bringing the road toll down, which currently stands at 195 fatal crashes resulting in 206 deaths, which is eight crashes and 11 deaths more than this time last year.

Commander of the state's Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, said many drivers continue to put themselves and other users at risk by setting out when they are tired or refusing to take a break on longer trips.

"The sad fact is that when police turn up to a single vehicle crash, which has struck a tree or power pole, driver fatigue is more than likely the reason for the loss of life," he said.

"Something as simple as pulling over to have a break, a nap or swap drivers and then continuing on can save lives on our roads.

"Drivers in NSW that have become accustomed on both long or short journeys to push on when tired are the ones we are losing on our roads.

"We know that between 2009 and 2013, 332 drivers lost their lives in fatal crashes as a result of driver fatigue. That is 332 families and friends that have all had to suffer the tragedy of losing a loved one on our roads.

"This is such an important issue that police cars are now displaying road safety messaging to support the 'don't trust your tired self' campaign, so that all drivers see the message all of the time."

Tips to assist motorists avoid driving tired:

Get a good night's sleep

Avoid driving at night when your body will naturally want to sleep

Arrange to share the driving

Avoid long drives after work

Plan to take regular breaks from driving (use rest areas)

Catch a cab or public transport instead

Ask someone for a lift

Find out if any medicine you are taking may affect your driving

Know what the early warning signs of fatigue are.

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