Allianz Your Cover: Tired, Worried and Stressed Out - No Wonder One In Ten Drivers Are Falling Asleep at the Wheel

  Allianz Your Cover: Tired, Worried and Stressed Out - No Wonder One In Ten
  Drivers Are Falling Asleep at the Wheel

Stressed and tired Drivers risk their own safety and that of others to keep up
                              with modern living

Business Wire

GUILDFORD, England -- April 23, 2013

One in ten UK drivers admit they have fallen asleep at the wheel of their
vehicle and a further one in foursaid they had felt drowsy enough to fall
asleep whilst driving, according to a new survey by the insurer, Allianz Your
Cover.

The survey also revealed that 83% of the population have at least one bad
night’s sleep a week and worryingly, 43% admit they are getting less than the
recommended seven to eight hours sleep a night*.

The most common reasons people gave for the cause of their bad night’s sleep
were:

1. Being unable to switch off from the day’s events (36%)

2. Worries about work (25%)

3. Feeling Stressed (23%)

4. Noise outside (19%)

5. Being woken by children (17%)

Despite more than half of the people surveyed agreeing that a driver is a
danger to themselves and to others if they continue driving whilst feeling
drowsy, only one third of drivers said they would stop and take a break when
they began to feel tired.

Rather than take a break, 56% of people said that they choose to open the
windows and 32% will turn their music up to loud in order to wake themselves
up. The research also found that nearly one in five drivers either take no
steps at all to ward off drowsiness or they simply drive faster to get home
more quickly.

Jon Lott, head of direct, Allianz Your Cover, said “People push themselves on
a daily basis to keep up with the demands of modern life, but it’s important
that they are fit to drive at all times.

“On long journeys, taking regular and short breaks of at least 15 minutes,
will improve concentration and the ability to react quickly which could
prevent an accident occurring. Opening the windows or turning up the music may
seem effective, but they are only a very short-term solution.”

**Other survey findings revealed that:

  *A shocking 15% of 18-24 year olds admitted that they have had an accident
    as a result of being very tired or drowsy behind the wheel compared to 2%
    of 45-54 year olds
  *Londoners are more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel with 9%
    admitting they have done so in the past, compared to 1% in the South West
    region
  *People who work in Transport and Distribution are the most likely to
    experience feeling drowsy behind the wheel (32%) compared to 10% of people
    who work in Voluntary sector

Jon added: “Worryingly, people seem more concerned with getting to where they
need to be as quickly as possible and ignoring the dangers tiredness brings.
Drivers are in control of a potentially lethal weapon and they must do all
they can to avoid having an accident.”

Dr Irshaad Ebrahim, medical director at The London Sleep Centre, said: “This
research has highlighted a widelyunder-recognised cause of road
fatalities,and the links between the stressful 24/7 lifestyle that we have
become accustomed to and driver fatigue. The demands placed on time, both
occupational and social, seem to have led to an increase in sleep disorders,
which in turn leads to excessive sleepiness with potentially fatal
consequences.

“Of further importance is the impact of underlying and undiagnosed sleep
disorders. Whilst self-induced sleep deprivation may account for the majority
of sleepy drivers in the younger age groups, we are seeing a rise in
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) and other medical causes of a disrupted
night-time which can cause driver sleepiness. Excessive sleepiness due to OSA
may be responsible for up to 30% of sleepy driver accidents and fatalities. It
is vital for people to seek advice from a sleep expert if they are suffering
from such conditions.”

Notes to Editors:

A survey of 2,000 UK respondents was carried out in March 2013 by 72 Point on
behalf of Allianz Insurance.

*Research conducted by BUPA Health in October 2012:
http://www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/health-information/directory/s/sleep-how-much-is-needed

** More age, regional and occupational statistics are available on request

About Allianz

Allianz Insurance is one of the largest general insurers in the UK and part of
the Allianz SE Group, the largest property and casualty insurer worldwide.

About Your Cover

Your Cover is a new breed of insurance product, offering cover that customers
select to precisely match their own lifestyle and circumstances. Using an easy
to use ‘Quote and Buy' website, Your Cover makes it simple to design, obtain a
quote and manage your insurance online.

The result of two years' research involving thousands of insurance buyers,
Your Cover is a product from Allianz Insurance plc, which is a part of the
global Allianz Group.

For more information on The London Sleep Centre, please visit:
www.londonsleepcentre.com

Contact:

Consolidated PR
Helen Braddock / Sophie Church
Tel: 0207-781-2375 / 0207781-2386
Email: helenb@consolidatedpr.com / sophiec@consolidatedpr.com
 
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