Watch: Shocking moment when sleeping driver crashes into another car near York

The aftermath of the crash. Photograph: Dashcam footage / North Yorkshire Police
13 Mar 2020 @ 11.49 am
| News

This shocking video shows the moment when a tired driver caused a head-on collision near York.

Dashcam footage captures a heart-stopping few seconds when the Vauxhall Astra veers across the road and hits a car coming in the opposite direction head on.

The crash resulted in a woman in the oncoming car suffering life-changing injuries.

North Yorkshire Police have released the video to show the dangers of driving when tired.

The footage was release by North Yorkshire Police

Fallen asleep at the wheel

North Yorkshire Police attended the collision, on the A59 between York and Harrogate, on 20 February 2019.

The 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 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.

‘Simply no excuse’

York Crown Court. Photograph: YorkMix

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 9 December 2019 he was given a two-year community order with 40 hours’ unpaid work, and was banned from driving for two years.

Traffic Constable Joe Schramm, of North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group, investigated the A59 collision.

He said:

  • 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.

Police advice

According to national Government statistics, up to one fifth of accidents on major roads may be sleep-related.

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.

Prescribed or over-the-counter medication can cause sleepiness as a side effect. Always check the label, if you intend to drive.