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Sleepy Drivers

Volume 448: debated on Monday 3 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many road accidents were caused (a) directly and (b) indirectly as a result of the driver of a motor vehicle driving (i) while feeling drowsy and (ii) falling asleep while driving in each year since 1996, broken down by (A) age group, (B) sex and (C) region; (81259)

(2) what research his Department (a) has undertaken, (b) plans to undertake and (c) has evaluated into (i) the (A) age and (B) number of (1) males and (2) females who drive while feeling drowsy, (ii) the frequency of driving while drowsy and (iii) the number of road accidents caused because the driver was drowsy; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what steps he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to encourage persons aged 17 to 24 years of the dangers of driving while feeling drowsy; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 28 November 2005, Official Report, column 153W, to the hon. Member for South Swindon (Anne Snelgrove). The Department's research reports are published at rdsafety/documents/divisionhomepage/032513.hcsp. Research Reports 21, 22 and 52 are relevant to driver sleepiness and report 43 is relevant to accident contributory factors. Research into motorcycle rider fatigue and accident risk is ongoing. The Department's publicity programme on driver tiredness is aimed at drivers of all ages.