Motorists fall asleep at the wheel

Daryna ZadvirnaAlbany Advertiser

Mt Barker police have warned drivers about the dangers of fatigue after two people fell asleep at the wheel and crashed in the past week.

Last Sunday, a 42-year-old woman was taken to Albany Hospital after she crashed on Porongurup Road.

She escaped with minor injuries and was released a short time later.

Police said fatigue was the cause of the crash, with the woman admitting to falling asleep at the wheel.

On Tuesday morning, Mt Barker police were called to a single-vehicle crash on Albany Highway, about 45km south of Kojonup.

The driver fell asleep and crashed into thick scrub, which hid his vehicle from passing cars.

The driver was trapped in his vehicle with limited phone reception and could only give an approximate location of the crash.

It took nearly an hour to find the wreckage, with the combined efforts of police, paramedics, volunteer firefighters and a rescue helicopter.

It is understood the driver was shaken but unharmed and was taken to hospital as a precaution.

Mt Barker police Senior Constable Kevin Loveland said both drivers were lucky to escape serious injury — and lucky not to have hurt anyone else.

“We are quite concerned about fatigue, especially with the holiday season and people travelling, so we just want everyone to be aware of how they’re feeling when they’re driving.” he said.

“Make sure you take regular breaks and rest stops, and get out and go for a walk to get the blood flowing.”

Sen Cont. Loveland said drivers needed to be conscious of other road users when they made decisions about driving.

“During this time with people travelling to places, they more often than not have family members in their car,” he said.

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