New campaign a wake up call for tired drivers

Published date: 19 May 2024

A new hard-hitting road safety campaign targeting drowsy drivers is backed by research showing drivers are four times more likely to crash if they’ve had less than five hours’ sleep.

The campaign ‘Driving tired? Wake up to yourself’, launched by the Victorian Government and Transport Accident Commission (TAC), reminds drivers that being tired behind the wheel not only makes them a danger to themselves, but a danger to everyone on the roads.

Central to the campaign is a confronting new television ad showing a serious crash caused by a tired driver crashing into another car with a mother and her young daughter.

Tired drivers contribute 16-20 per cent of fatal crashes on Victorian roads each year, while accounting for approximately 25 per cent of road trauma injuries at The Alfred and Royal Melbourne hospitals.

The campaign is backed by research by Monash University and the TAC, which found participants in an impaired driving assessment track trial were four times more likely to crash if they had only four-to-five hours’ sleep.

A second study found most respondents understood the risks of driving while tired and could identify the signs and symptoms, while young men reported a greater risk of falling asleep at the wheel.

The campaign comes as this year’s Victorian road toll surpasses 100 – a total of 106 people have lost their lives on the state’s roads in 2024.

Victorians will see and hear the new campaign across TV, online, radio, music streaming platforms, cinemas, regional press, social media, outdoor advertising, and billboards – from 19 May until 30 June.

Learn how you can avoid driving tired.

Resources for media

Quote attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Melissa Horne

“We know most road accidents are preventable – that’s why we’re urging Victorians to make sure they’ve had a good night’s sleep before they get behind the wheel, because it could save someone’s life.”

Quote attributable to Transport Accident Commission CEO Tracey Slatter

“Lack of sleep can dramatically affect our ability to drive safely and this campaign will educate Victorians around the risks associated with driving tired and promote how much sleep you need before you are safe to drive.”

“We know that Victorians identify driving while tired as risky but we are still seeing too many tragedies as a result of being drowsy on the roads – our message is to rest up and get more than five hours sleep before driving.”

Audio file

Interview with Sam Cockfield, Executive General Manager Road Safety. mp3 15:06.


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