The M6toll Says Think! and Asks Tired Drivers to Take a Break This Bank Holiday Weekend

Toll assistants will give out 10,000 information leaflets to motorists in the run-up to and over the August Bank Holiday Weekend (27-29), which is expected to be very busy on Britain's first privately-funded motorway.

M6toll operator Midland Expressway Limited (MEL) is backing the Department for Transport's THINK! Campaign to help keep drivers safe.

Government research has found that falling asleep at the wheel accounts for up to 20 per cent of accidents on motorways or similar roads, and as many as one in ten of all crashes on Britain's roads.

Tom Fanning, managing director of MEL, said: "We take road safety and the well-being of our customers very seriously and we're delighted to support this government initiative. With events like the Reading Festival and the Notting Hill Carnival we expect the road to be busy over the forthcoming Bank Holiday.

"There's no doubt that the M6toll can allow drivers to reduce the time they spend in their vehicles. Our Motorway Service Area at Norton Canes encourages drivers to take a break with some of the best facilities in the country."

Sleep-related crashes are more likely to result in serious injury because a tired driver does not react as quickly.

Safety tips for drivers to avoid tiredness include:
• Avoid making long trips between midnight and 6am when natural alertness is low
• Stop for a 15 minute break every two hours on a long journey. Find a safe place to stop - but not on the hard shoulder
• Drinking two cups of coffee or other high caffeine drink and having a 10-15 minute rest to allow time for the caffeine to kick in is an effective method of combating sleepiness

Opening the window or turning up the radio does little to prevent a driver from falling asleep at the wheel, say safety experts.

The 27 mile M6toll is used by over 50,000 vehicles on workdays. It's expected to be the route of choice for thousands of people who'll take a break this August Bank Holiday and want to avoid the congestion on the M6.