12 January 2010 – British motorists are being driven to record stress levels, with a new survey revealing how drivers are suffering from a lack of sleep and a series of health complaints due to recession worries, with almost a quarter of respondents turning to alcohol to help them cope with the economic climate.
Sparking fresh concerns for drink driving and road safety, the survey, by leading car hire comparator Carrentals.co.uk, questioned over 1,000 drivers on their experiences during the recession and revealed that added stress had led to motorists experiencing a series of health complaints such as panic attacks, headaches and breathing difficulties, with respondents in the south east reporting the highest number of health problems.
Almost a quarter of the drivers questioned also admitted that they were drinking more to help cope with the recession, with 41-50 year olds reporting the biggest increase in alcohol consumed the same age group that reported the highest number of job losses (30%), pay cuts (34%) and higher mortgage payments (42%).
Gareth Robinson, managing director of Carrentals.co.uk, says: The last year has been a very difficult time for most of the UK, as people have come under added pressure both at work and in their personal lives. However, the number of drivers turning to alcohol to help them cope was much higher than we expected, with this increasing our concerns for road safety.
Even consuming a lot of alcohol the night before can result in drivers still being over the legal limit the morning after, so anyone who has a few too many should take time to sober up properly before driving or else make other arrangements.
Health problems were further highlighted by the survey, with women seeming to be more commonly affected than men, with 63% of women having suffered panic attacks due to recession stress; two thirds experiencing headaches; and over half (54%) having suffered breathing difficulties.
The survey also revealed that one in three have less than six hours sleep a night and more than half of men and 44% of women admit to driving after sleepless nights. London was found to be the place where drivers had the least sleep, while those in the North East of England were found to get the most sleep, with over 75% getting at least seven hours a night.
Few people realise the dangers of driving on limited sleep says Gareth, but driver tiredness is actually the cause of one in five road accidents in the UK, with motorists suffering from reduced reaction speeds and some falling asleep at the wheel. We would advise any motorists suffering from sleep deprivation to avoid driving whenever possible, with anyone driving for more than two hours at a time encouraged to take regular breaks to rest.
Carrentals.co.uk compares car hire deals from up to 50 rental companies, including Alamo, Budget, easyCar, Holiday Autos and Sixt, in over 9,000 locations worldwide.
To compare the latest car hire deals visit www.carrentals.co.uk.
Carrentals.co.uk was launched in February 2003 and grew to become one of the UK’s leading online car hire companies by 2006.
In 2007 the company re-launched its site to create the first major online price comparator in the travel industry. Using the latest technology the Carrentals.co.uk site now searches up to 50 different car hire websites, providing an impartial comparison of the best prices available in over 9,000 locations.
Websites searched include Alamo, Budget, easyCar, Ebookers, Hertz, Holiday Autos, Opodo, Sixt and Thrifty, with the Carrentals.co.uk site quickly comparing prices and allowing customers to refine their search by car type.
The Carrentals.co.uk site also features over 5,000 pages of travel information in a mini-guide format.
In 2008 Carrentals.co.uk was voted Best Car Hire Website in the Travolution Awards. To book or for further information visit carrentals.co.uk
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