The British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) reminds drivers to rest up if you are taking a road trip this B.C. Family Day weekend

A driver that is impaired by fatigue is just as dangerous as a driver that is impaired by alcohol.

BURNABY, BC, Feb. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - How will you celebrate B.C.'s first Family Day? If you are planning a road trip to visit family or friends, remember to prepare yourself for the drive and rest up.

Unlike long road trips during the summer months, a road trip in the middle of February will have additional challenges for drivers.

Winter road conditions - rain, ice and snow, as well as the lack of daylight, mean that drivers have to be alert behind the wheel at all times.  Fatigue can impair brain and body functions as much as alcohol does, and a driver that is impaired by fatigue is just as dangerous as a driver that is impaired by alcohol.

According to Police reported data between 2007 and 2011, there was an average of 820 fatigue‐related crashes, resulting in 560 injured victims, and 17 fatalities annually throughout B.C.

BCAA reminds drivers to pay attention to the warning signs of driving fatigue - blinking or yawning frequently, inability to remember the last stretch of road driven, difficulty concentrating, slowing down, and drifting over the centre line or on to the shoulder.

Tips for avoiding driver fatigue:

  • Plan ahead and get a good night's sleep before a long drive.
  • Share the driving with other passengers, but not teen drivers.
  • Take regular rest stops every couple of hours and do some sort of exercise.
  • Eat light meals or fruit and drink water throughout the journey.
  • If you do feel tired during the trip, a nap of twenty to forty minutes is an effective way of reducing sleepiness

There are also normal, age-related changes in the amount of sleep, sleep patterns and sleep disorders that increase with age. The ability of healthy older adults to initiate and maintain a deep sleep decreases with age. This can cause fatigue and could be a serious risk for older drivers. There is also evidence that teens do not get enough sleep. A teen's lack of sleep may increase their risk of a crash.

For more information about driver fatigue and other road safety concerns visit BCAARoadSafety.com.

About BCAA
BCAA is one of the most trusted organizations in British Columbia, serving one-in-four B.C. households. With over 800,000 Members, BCAA provides an array of award-winning home, auto and travel insurance products and services, and roadside assistance. Members can also benefit from CAA Dollar rewards, savings on BCAA insurance products and exclusive offers at Show Your Card & Save locations throughout the province. BCAA has a proud history of serving British Columbians for over 105 years, over $400 million in annual sales, 27 locations and over 800 employees. BCAA has also received the 2012 J.D. Power and Associates award for "Highest Customer Satisfaction among Home Insurance Providers in Western Canada". To learn more about the benefits of BCAA Membership, visit bcaa.com. For more information on the BCAA Road Safety Foundation visit BCAARoadSafety.com.

URL for this media release is: http://www.bcaaroadsafety.com/category/news-releases/

SOURCE: BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation

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Editor's notes: 
For further information, or to request an interview, please contact:

Niela Melanio
BCAA Public Affairs and Media Specialist
Office: 604-268-5342
Cell: 778-228-8859
Email: niela.melanio@bcaa.com