Over 10,000 free cups of coffee were handed out to tired drivers over four bank holiday weekends in 2017, as part of a joint campaign between the Road Safety Authority and Applegreen.
This weekend, as Ireland celebrated St. Patrick’s long weekend, the RSA and Applegreen teamed up once again to combat driver fatigue and are offering free cups of coffee to drivers between 2pm and 8pm today Monday 19th March. They campaign started on Friday when drivers availed of free coffee during the same specified times too.
This is the 6th year this partnership has been running between the two organisations on Bank Holiday weekends to help combat driver fatigue. The campaign is called ‘Stop, Sip, Sleep.’
Findings from the Road Safety Authority estimate that driver fatigue is a contributory factor in as many as 1 in 5 driver deaths in Ireland. Tiredness-related collisions are 3 times more likely to be fatal or result in a serious injury because of the high impact speed and lack of avoiding action.
To combat the effects of driver fatigue, the RSA advises drivers to Stop, Sip, Sleep:
- Stop: Park in a safe place.
- Sip: Drink a caffeine drink like a cup of coffee
- Set the alarm on your mobile phone and take a 15-minute nap. After the nap get some fresh air and stretch your legs for a few minutes, the caffeine should have started to take effect by then
By following all of the above advice drivers should be able to continue their journey for another hour or so, however, the RSA reminds drivers that the only cure for a chronic lack of sleep is sleep.
A Bank holiday weekend is a high-risk period for road-users as there are typically more people using the roads, travelling greater distances and often in places that they are unfamiliar with. The RSA’s Chief Executive Moyagh Murdock said “The potential to become tired while driving increases. Our advice is to Stop, Sip, Sleep, pull over as soon as you start to feel tired – don’t think that you can shake it off by opening the window or turning up the radio, you can’t. Pull over, drink a caffeinated drink and take a 15-minute nap. When you wake up, the caffeine should have taken effect, allowing you to drive for another hour or so.”
Applegreen service stations across Ireland have provided thousands of free cups of coffee to drivers since this partnership started, helping to reduce the incidences of driver fatigue on Irish roads. Conor Lucey, Head of Retail Operations, Applegreen said: “We are delighted to partner with the Road Safety Authority again in 2018, for the sixth year in a row on this life saving initiative to help improve driver safety on our roads this St Patrick’s weekend. As a proud Irish company, road safety is very important to us, so we are proud to be involved in this campaign that contributes to safer driving and safer roads.”
To date this year 30 people have been killed on Irish roads, a decrease of 6 when compared to the same period last year.
A list of participating Applegreen service stations is available at www.applegreenstores.com/ie/locations