Project EDWARD, the global road safety initiative aiming for Every Day Without A Road Death, is embarking on a nationwide road trip to spread the message during a week of action to coincide with the UN Global Road Safety Week.
It means for both yourself and your battery, it’s the perfect time to stop to recharge – your EV via the GRIDSERVE Electric Highway and yourself through some caffeine or a power nap.
Although you might not think so, driving can be stressful.
The consistent hum of a petrol or diesel engine and the focus required for such a long period of time puts load on your mind (and body), which in turns accelerates the feelings of fatigue.
A study by DS Automobiles revealed that a third of EV owners found their electric cars less stressful than petrol or diesel equivalents. The silent and smooth ride helping to create a more relaxed environment.
Electric cars are at the cutting-edge of the car world, which means they’re fitted with the latest gadgets.
This includes technology that can keep you safe on the road, such as adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and blind spot monitoring. These assistance systems take the strain for you, easing the load on your brain and in turn reducing fatigue.
Electric cars also come with drowsiness monitoring and fatigue alerts. These will sense when you’re starting to show signs of tiredness even if you don’t notice them in yourself. An alert will tell you it’s time to pull over.
What are the laws about driving fatigue?
Proving that driver fatigue was the cause of a crash is not easy.
The lack of skid marks on the road, which indicate harsh braking, or on-board data from black boxes can give police an indication that the driver may have been asleep but it’s not guaranteed evidence unless there’s an eye witness account or the driver admits to it.
“Sleep-alyser” technology is being tested in Australia that could help identify those who are driving without enough sleep. The advanced blood test, which could be ready in five years, would show if a driver was sleep deprived – the similar way to if there was too much alcohol in the system.
For now, though, there’s no firm legislation in the UK for drowsy-driving. But if it’s proven a tired driver killed someone they could be charged with death by dangerous driving or death by careless driving. The maximum penalty is a prison sentence of 14 years.
The rules are stricter for professional drivers. Those who transport goods must maintain logbooks and record hours of work and rest, while many commercial fleets have data recorders installed on their vehicles, which can be used in the event of an accident.