GAA fans tired on the roads?
Research carried out on behalf of Liberty Insurance has shown that GAA fans are getting less sleep than the national average. The results come as fans from Tipperary and Kilkenny begin the preparations for the trip to Croke Park for the All-Ireland Hurling Replay this Saturday.
The study, carried out by Millward Brown, found that while 34 per cent of adults admitted to driving with less than five hours sleep, that figure rises to 39 per cent for GAA fans as they travel the length and breadth of the country following their team. The study also shows that 53 per cent of GAA fans have experienced an incident while driving fatigued such as missing an exit, not remembering the last few kilometres of a trip or having slower reaction time. This compares to 45 per cent of drivers nationwide.
"Our research has revealed some interesting but alarming insights into driver fatigue," said Annette Ni Dhathlaoi, Head of Marketing, Liberty Insurance. "Devoted GAA fans spend a lot of time on the road supporting their teams throughout the Championships; as Safe Driving Partner to the GAA we want to enhance their enjoyment by ensuring they stay safe on their travels."
The Liberty Insurance research did reveal that GAA fans are more likely to have a number of approaches to help them to cope with long drives. These include opening car windows (43 per cent), stopping for a break (35 per cent) or to get a coffee (33 per cent). One in four stated they stop and stretch their legs after a couple of hours, 13 per cent of GAA fans reported allowing another driver to take over, and changing the volume of the music on the radio was reported by 11 per cent. These tactics are all employed by drivers nationwide, but the research found that GAA fans were more likely to use multiple tactics on a journey.
"Addressing driver fatigue is important and one that all GAA players and supporters that travel to games should be very conscious of," said former Kilkenny Hurler and five-time All-Ireland medal winner DJ Carey on the findings.
"I encourage everyone making the trip to Croke Park this weekend to get a good night's sleep, plan ahead, take a break when you need to and arrive safely for the throw-in."
Liberty Insurance's study was part of its #DriveSafer social media campaign that highlights tips to drivers to keep them safe on the roads. Some of the tips for tired drivers (and not just GAA fans) are:
• Plan the route in advance and take note of rest areas where you can take a break, have a refreshment to stay hydrated and stretch your legs.
• Make sure you're well rested and try to get a good night's sleep before your journey
• Avoid driving alone on long-distance trips. Passengers can both share in the driving and participate in conversation, which can help you stay focused.
• Allow yourself ample time to reach your destination so you can take frequent breaks. Try to stop about every two hours, or every 150 kilometres.
• When you take a break make a point of getting out of the car and walking at least a short distance, where it is safe to do.
• Driving for long periods at night makes fatigue much more likely. By avoiding travelling during these hours, you escape the glaring dashboard and road lights. That alone will help decrease your risk of motorway hypnosis.
• Finally, if you're losing the battle against fatigue, stop and rest in a safe place.
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