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Road traffic accidents are now the most common form of accident causing personal injury – and one of the most worrying aspects of some road accidents is that they were caused by an over-tired driver falling asleep at the wheel.

Coffee and rest breaks while driving
Organisations like the AA and RAC are constantly warning of the dangers of driving while tired or under the influence of medications, drugs or alcohol – and yet road traffic accidents involving a driver nodding off still happen and are often devastating for both driver and others injured.

The accepted advice for drivers who maybe drive long distances for a living is to pull over for a rest break as soon as possible once you begin to feel tired.

You should also take regular rest breaks and never set off if feeling sleepy.

Drinking coffee can also help – take a flask of coffee and pull over in a lay-by or car park en route if there are no services available.

Mercedes technology for drivers
Mercedes has also utilised technology to help drivers stay awake at the wheel, in the form of a warning system which detects changes in a driver’s behaviour at the wheel.

The Attention Assist technology monitors the driver and creates a profile of their normal pattern of driving behaviour – when this changes, the alert kicks in and warns the driver to take a break using an audible and visual alarm system.

To compile a profile of a driver, the Attention Assist compiles data on normal speeds, acceleration, use of foot pedals and how the steering wheel is handled.

The device is also able to determine whether any changes in performance are the result of driver fatigue or another factor. Driving abroad safely Road traffic accidents are not only a frequent cause of life-changing injury in the UK – they are also one of the main causes of personal injury among British tourists on holiday abroad.

Staying awake at the wheel on a driving holiday can mean not only enjoying your holiday – but returning home safely to tell the tale. So if your car does not have intelligent technology to keep you from nodding off, take regular rest breaks while driving and stop for a rest and a coffee as soon as you feel your driving performance is falling below its usual standard.

It is also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the route you are planning to take in advance, rather than set off on a journey which may take much longer than expected and leave you tired or driving at night, when heavy goods vehicles may also be heading for ports and roads may be harder to navigate.

A car accident compensation guide will help you understand the process of claiming compensation after an accident.