Hastings Direct.

Important - Coronavirus update

In line with guidance from the Government and to help look after our colleagues, we now have a limited number of staff in the office. During this time, we're committed to supporting you in the best way we can. We'll be here throughout to keep you updated so make sure to check back regularly.

  • At this time, please help us to prioritise essential calls by using our online services.
    • If you're a car customer you can use MyAccount or the app to make policy changes or payments, including changing your payment date, checking your documents or to report or track a claim (MyAccount only).
    • If you're a home, bike or van customer, or for any customers wishing to cancel their insurance, please use our online forms.
  • If you do phone, we will only be able to deal with your query if:
    • You're in a vulnerable situation or an NHS or frontline health┬ácare worker who can't easily access our online services, or
    • You are worried about making future payments, or
    • Your policy is due to renew in less than a week and you're concerned the policy is no longer suitable for you, or
    • You need to make a claim and your vehicle is un-driveable or if you need urgent roadside assistance.
  • For all other queries, including buying a new policy, please first read our Coronavirus FAQs for the latest advice and how to use our online services.
  • Our opening hours have changed to: Monday to Friday 9am - 6pm, Saturday 10am - 2pm and Sunday Closed. If do you need to call us, please bear with us as it may take us longer to answer your call. We're sorry for any inconvenience this causes you.

Read our Coronavirus FAQs

Drowsy driving – know your limits

A drowsy driver at the wheel.

Early starts, long hours in the office and late nights spent socialising are all things that can cause us to feel sleepy behind the wheel. But drowsy driving is extremely dangerous – to you, your passengers and all other road users. As a new DVLA booklet quite rightly puts it: tiredness can kill.

According to estimates shared by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), driver fatigue may be a contributory factor in up to 20% of road accidents, as well as up to one quarter of fatal and serious accidents.

Accidents involving drowsy drivers are around 50% more likely to lead to serious injury or death. This is because crashes are usually high impact, as the driver who's fallen asleep is unable to swerve or brake to avoid or limit the impact.

Government statistics cited by This is Money show 62 people died on Britain's roads in 2017 in collisions where fatigue was a factor, and 462 were seriously injured.

When crashes are most likely to happen

As RoSPA explains, collisions involving drowsy drivers are most likely to happen:

  • On long journeys on monotonous roads, like motorways
  • Early morning, between 2am and 6am
  • Mid-afternoon, between 2pm and 4pm (especially after eating, or after having just one alcoholic drink)
  • If taking medication where drowsiness is a possible side effect
  • After long hours at work or on the drive home after a long shift, in particular night shifts.

Feel tired? STOP!

We've all heard winding down a car window can combat tiredness, but this doesn't work – at least, not for long.

The best piece of advice we can give is to stop at a safe place at the first sign of tiredness, or when you start to doubt how alert you are behind the wheel. If you're on the motorway, never pull onto the hard shoulder unless it's an emergency – drive to the nearest service station instead.

RoSPA writes drivers feeling sleepy should drink two cups of coffee (containing at least 150mg of caffeine) and take a nap of around 15 minutes. Bear in mind, though, these are only temporary measures and sleepiness will return. So, you should only drive for a short period of time once you get back on the road.

Medical conditions and drowsiness

If you're taking any medication that can cause drowsiness, make sure you check and follow the advice given in the information leaflet.

You must tell the DVLA if you have a medical condition makes you feel very sleepy during the time you'd usually be awake. Don't tell them and you could face a fine of up to £1,000, not to mention prosecution if you're involved in a collision as a result.

Driving drowsy is simply not worth the risk. Know your limits, don't attempt a journey if you feel sleepy, and if you get tired on the road, stop in a safe place as soon as you can.

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