A warning to new dads has been issued by car insurance firm Swinton that they should think twice before getting behind the wheel of a car if they have been up all night with their new offspring.
The Department of Transport (DfT) says that 20 per cent of accidents are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel – even for a micro-sleep – and so they urge commuters to consider taking their full fortnight of paternity leave to adjust to the new 24-hour routine of having a baby in the house.
Chris Collings, insurance development director at Swinton, said: "Research by the Association of British Drivers has suggested that a driver who has had less than five hours of sleep can be as dangerous as a drunken driver.
"In fact, when your sleep debt gets too big there is nothing you can do to keep yourself awake. As much as we love our new ‘bundles of joy’ consecutive nights of disrupted sleep can stack up and lead to dads driving in around in a daze."
If your journey is so important that you can not delay it, then consider using a caffeine-high to delay the tiredness. Make time, however, to pull over and take a 15-30 minute stop as the effects start to wear off. For fathers suffering from a longer term sleep pattern interruption, then maybe leaving the car on the drive and getting a liftshare to commute to and from work would give them time to doze off in their colleague’s passenger seat, or relaxing on a train or bus might be the safer option.