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Easter lifesaver: cuppa & bikkie

``If you feel tired, pull over and take a break – even if you feel rested.’’

Greg McWilliam shares that message to warn other drivers to Stop, Revive, Survive this Easter.

Despite an early night and a good sleep before the long road trip, the former Riverina man fell asleep while driving and slammed into a tree on the Newell Hwy in NSW last Anzac Day.

He was trapped inside his crumpled car and rescuers used the jaws of life to cut him out of the wreckage.

He sustained a left wrist facture, a slight right ankle fracture and lower vertebrae fractures and feels lucky to be alive.

``It could have been much worse,’’ he said. ``I am lucky.’’

This Easter school holidays and ANZAC Day long weekend, thousands of volunteers will take time out of their holidays to provide a free Bushell’s cuppa and Arnott’s bikkie at Driver Reviver sites across the nation.

Lismore, Victoria Driver Reviver co-ordinator and former Senior of the Year Ted Goodacre said: ``It's not about attracting big numbers.

``The aim is making sure we get the right person pulling up at the right time.

``If someone was just about to fall asleep at the wheel and stops and has a break with us then it has all been worthwhile.’’

The National Driver Reviver Program Coordinator, Amy Miles urged drivers to take a break every two hours at a Driver Reviver site.

``Have a free cuppa and bikkie on us. It could save your life.’’

Driver fatigue is one of the biggest causes of road fatalities. Fatigue-related crashes are almost three times as likely to be fatal than crashes not involving fatigue. There were 1134 fatalities on Australian roads in the 12 months to October 2021.

Driver Reviver thanked the volunteers from organisations including Lions Clubs, State Emergency Services, Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) and Rural Fire Service (RFS) who ``give up their own time to promote road safety and help reduce the road toll by providing free refreshments to motorists with a friendly smile’’.

The Driver Reviver program truly is a commitment to the community by our partners Bushells Tea, Bushells Coffee, The Arnott’s Foundation, Sunshine Sugar, AAMI and Shell V-Power.

More than 25 million free teas and coffees and 28 million snacks have been served to drivers and their passengers since 1990, which aims to promote road safety and reduce the road toll at high-risk holiday times.

Details about the 187 Driver Reviver site locations and operating hours can be viewed at TIPS FROM DRIVER REVIVER

  • Begin long trips well rested

  • Plan a break at least every 2 hours

  • Share the driving where possible

  • Avoid driving when you would usually be sleeping

STATS & FIGURES (Transport Accident Commission)

  • If you fall asleep for just four seconds while travelling at 100 km/h, the car will have gone 111m without you being in control

  • After being awake for 17 hours you will be impaired to the same level as someone with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05

  • Fatigue isn’t only an issue on long distance drives, it is still a risk for short drives

  • People generally don't become fatigued from driving. Usually, they are already tired from long hours, shift work, lack of sleep, sleep apnoea or physically demanding roles.

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