Don’t become a statistic

April 20, 2018

Echuca SES controller Ian Marriott urges drowsy drivers to take a break.

‘‘We would rather serve you a cuppa than cut you out of your car.”

That was the simple message from Echuca SES controller Ian Marriott.

He and all SES volunteers know fatigue is one of the biggest killers on Australian roads.

Drowsy driving is dangerous and potentially deadly.

If you’re already behind the wheel when you start to feel drowsy, the best remedy is to pull over and have a 15-minute powernap.

Many people think they can push through drowsiness, but you can’t fight sleep.

All day, sleep-inducing chemicals build up in your brain. They eventually reach a tipping point, sending you off to sleep, which can happen any time and anywhere.

About 13 per cent of drivers and riders killed last year were likely to have been driving while fatigued when they died.

That’s why SES and Lions Club volunteers can be found at Driver Reviver rest stops on holiday weekends and peak traffic days, providing free tea, coffee and snacks to help motorists reach their destinations safely.

For more than 27 years, Driver Reviver has been a national campaign with one objective, to reduce road collisions by alleviating driver fatigue.

The message is simple — stop, revive, arrive alive.

Mr Marriott said the decision to stop for a cuppa and a chat was a no-brainer.

‘‘Driver Reviver is the best way to break up the monotony of long-distance driving,’’ he said.

‘‘All drivers need to be honest with themselves and accept they aren’t their best when they’re tired.

‘‘We know fatigue is a major cause of road trauma and it’s important people take the steps necessary to not become a statistic.

‘‘There’s plenty of volunteers who would love to meet you at a rest stop and not at the scene of a crash.’’

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