Beat driver fatigue at reviver stops


State is helping drivers stay alert this Labour Weekend, by operating State Driver Reviver rest stops on some of the busiest main highways.

Company staff will be handing out free barista coffee, barbecued sausages, fruit and water on key routes at peak times. There will be activities for kids, safety information and toilets.

Ministry of Transport figures for 2011 show that 32 people died in crashes where fatigue was identified as a factor, while 141 suffered serious injuries and 619 suffered minor injuries. The total social cost of crashes involving fatigue in 2011 was an estimated $253 million.

State's executive general manager Mary-Jane Daly says it is critical to plan trips to include breaks, to watch for signs of fatigue and to pull over as soon as you need to.

"Driver fatigue is a danger that creeps up on you. Fatigue-related accidents can happen to anyone, including people who are meticulous about other things like alcohol and speeding.

"Our staff have been volunteering to run State rest stops at the Labour and Easter long weekends for eight years, and it's encouraging to see more than 5000 people stopping off to take a break.

"As Kiwi sausage sizzles go we're pretty confident it's up there with the biggest, and it's a great way to get the safety message across."

Tips for identifying driver fatigue:

Having trouble focusing, keeping your eyes open or holding your head up.

Daydreaming, having wandering or disconnected thoughts, or loss of memory.

Yawning or rubbing your eyes repeatedly.

Drifting from your lane, tailgating and missing signs or exits.

Feeling restless and irritable.

Details of the five State Driver Reviver rest stops are at www.state.co.nz/StateDriverReviver.

- Hamilton News

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