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Increased risk on roads as service stations shunned

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Recently released research has found that motorists are shunning motorway service stations, even on long journeys, at a risk to their safety.  The survey, conducted by car insurance comparison site revealed that 79% of drivers are not taking sufficient breaks on motorways.

The research found that 32% of motorists do not like motorway service stations anymore, and actively avoid stopping at them, even on long journeys. 

One in seven motorists questioned admitted that they saw no point in taking a break during a four-hour journey. However, research from Newcastle University has revealed this can drastically increase the chances of an accident as reaction times start to dwindle.

Dr Joan Harvey, Chartered Psychologist at Newcastle University, who carried out the research says: “When driving on motorways, or other monotonous roads, a motorist’s maximum concentration level is only maintained for 30 minutes, after this time they will start to become bored and will drive on ‘auto-pilot’.

After a further 30 minutes of driving their blood sugar levels will drop. These two factors are a dangerous combination as the motorist will start to feel sleepy and will be slower to react to any hazards that might occur.”

The research concluded that motorists should stop at every third service station, or around every hour and a half, on long journeys to ensure tiredness and boredom don’t set in whilst driving and put you at risk.

Further research supports this, IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) chief examiner Peter Rodger comments: “Research suggests that one in five crashes on motorways are sleep-related. Regular breaks at service stations are essential for preventing such accidents from happening.”

Motorists have voted for their favourite and least favourite service stations.  Birchanger Green topped many motorists favourite; they are the only service station to offer a bird watching station on site.  There is also a very good child’s play area for when the children get restless.

London Gateway was one of the least popular, although this is understandable, as the guns of the HMS Belfast docked on the River Thames many miles away are trained on the service station.

However for all service stations, 58% of motorists prefer to just use the toilet and go straight on their way, not wanting to use any other services offered.

By Ben Malkin

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