Shocking dashcam footage of Harrogate crash reveals devastating impact of tired driving
Police officers in North Yorkshire have warned motorists about the dangers of driving while tired - by releasing footage of a devastating incident near Harrogate.
Footage released over the weekend shows the shocking moment a car veered into the opposite carriageway of the A59 between Harrogate and York - resulting in life-changing injuries to a woman in an oncoming vehicle.
North Yorkshire Police attended the collision on February 20 last year.
A Vauxhall Astra was being driven by a 70-year-old man when it veered into the opposite carriageway and collided head-on with a Nissan Note.
A woman in her 70s who was trapped inside the Nissan suffered life-changing injuries. Her husband, who was driving, was also seriously injured.
The collision was captured on dashcam by a following vehicle.The 70-year-old driver of the Astra told police he had fallen asleep at the wheel.
He said that about ten minutes before the accident he found himself falling asleep, but ‘slapped’ himself awake and continued driving as he wasn’t far from home.
Following an investigation by North Yorkshire Police, he was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
York Crown Court heard he was extremely remorseful. On December 9 last year, he was given a two-year community order with 40 hours’ unpaid work, and was banned from driving for two years.
According to national Government statistics, up to one fifth of accidents on major roads may be sleep-related.
Traffic Constable Joe Schramm, of North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group, investigated the A59 collision.
“Crashes involving tired drivers are often at high-speed, because the driver was asleep and did not brake at all, and so they can result in devastating injuries.
“Even if you don’t fall asleep, driving while tired impairs your judgement, co-ordination and reaction time – so you may brake late or miss a hazard altogether. Driving tired is just not worth the risk.
“All drivers who fall asleep at the wheel have a degree of warning, so there is simply no excuse. Please remember, at the first sign of tiredness, stop in a safe place, and take a break.”
North Yorkshire Police says drivers should make sure they have plenty of rest before setting off. Once on the road, stopping for a 15-minute nap in a safe place is more effective at reducing fatigue than getting out and stretching your legs.