Watch: The AA launches hard-hitting 'drowsy drivers' campaign

The AA Trust has rolled out an integrated campaign targeting 'drowsy drivers', following estimates that show a quarter of all fatal crashes are caused by motorists falling asleep at the wheel.

A new ad, in conjunction with the FIA Foundation, created by adam&eveDDB and alongside PR activity conducted in-house, goes live today (2 November).

The spot features a night-time driver drifting off to sleep, with the help of some imaginary 'friends', before he suddenly wakes to face a shocking scenario:

Extensive research conducted by the AA Charitable Trust alongside the campaign reveals – among other statistics – that one in eight (13 per cent) UK drivers admit falling asleep at the wheel, while nearly two-fifths (37 per cent) say they have been so tired they were scared they would fall asleep when driving.

Edmund King, AA Charitable Trust director, said: "One quarter of fatal crashes are sleep related, so drowsiness is one of the most underestimated risks on the roads. Tiredness is a fact of life at some point for most of us and it is crucial we know how to manage it in relation to driving.

"Simple measures can help alleviate the risks. Awareness of the problem is the first step, which is why we have launched this campaign and created an advert highlighting the dangers."

Dr Katharina Lederle, sleep expert at Somnia and author of Sleep Sense, said: "The simple truth is the only long-term cure for sleepiness is sleep and drivers are not able to fight it off by opening the window or turning up the radio."

Agency Markettiers is helping the AA with media relations and King told PRWeek that prerecords for Sky (TV and radio), ITV and Talk Radio have already taken place. He also hinted that early indications were that the campaign could be rolled out globally.

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