An overwhelming number (84%) of UK motorists would back the introduction of new “sleep driving” tests, similar to existing roadside drink and drug checks.
June’s Startline Used Car Tracker research shows 35% agree that fatigue is an important road safety issue with 10% admitting to having almost fallen asleep at the wheel and 63% saying that they have driven following little sleep.
Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “The idea for sleep driving tests is being pioneered in Australia and could be available within two years, using biomarkers to show whether someone has had any sleep during the previous 24 hours. With fatigue being a factor in one in five road accidents in the UK roads, they could have a very real impact on safety.
“What is perhaps surprising is the very high degree of backing for the idea among motorists. We think this suggests that drivers already recognise fatigue as an issue on our roads and recognise that the new test could play a part in helping the problem. It appears that any legislators interested in the concept would be pushing at an open door.”
The Startline Used Car Tracker also showed that many motorists are actively managing their own fatigue when driving – 43% would postpone a journey if they hadn’t slept enough and 13% say they often take breaks when driving a long distance. Just 3% don’t believe fatigue is a problem on the roads.
Paul continued: “These findings show that many people are already being responsible about fatigue when it comes to getting behind the wheel and the number of people taking risks with sleep driving appears to be comparatively few. However, the new test could serve as a valuable deterrent to those who are taking to the roads without sufficient sleep.”
The Startline Used Car Tracker is compiled monthly for Startline Motor Finance by APD Global Research, well-known in the motor industry for their business intelligence reporting and customer experience programs. This time, 301 consumers and 55 dealers were questioned.
The Startline Used Car Tracker was launched in April 2022 to produce essential attitudinal data about the used car sector over time. Each month, it asks consumers about their propensity to buy, fuel choices and the factors that will affect used car purchases, as well as questioning dealers about their feelings regarding the prospects of the market, the challenges facing them and their online offering.
The research is carried out for Startline by APD Global Research, well known in the motor industry for their business intelligence reporting and customer experience programs.