The study, conducted by motorists’ group “40 millions d’automobilistes,” analysed accident data from 2012, and found that more than a quarter of all fatalities on the road were linked to drivers being sleepy at the wheel.
This makes it the second-biggest cause of road deaths in France, Pierre Chasseray, from “40 million motorists,” told The Local on Monday.
The group found that alcohol is still the leading cause of mortality on French roads, responsible for one third of deaths.
‘Sleep-deprived driving’ as it is sometimes known, contributed to 27 percent of road deaths (800) last year, which makes it more dangerous than excessive speed.
Chasseray and his organization have called on the French government to take specific measures to bring down the death toll linked to drivers’ fatigue.
“The first thing they should do is send out the message to drivers, to remind them how dangerous it is, to encourage them to be vigilant, to at least have a cup of coffee, and if they feel tired, to stop the vehicle and sleep a little bit,” Chasseray told The Local.
“The second thing they should do is make motorway crash barriers and other safety structures universal in France, and roll them out across the country,” he added.
As well as causing 800 deaths per year, Monday’s report also found that 90,000 non fatal road accidents were linked to drivers’ fatigue.