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Lucky escape for sleepy truck driver

A  TRUCK driver is lucky to have escaped serious injury after falling asleep and crashing his vehicle into a street sign in the state's north.

About 1.40pm on Saturday (1 December 2012), the rigid truck was travelling along the Newell Hwy, Tulloona, when the 40-year-old driver, from Lawnton in Queensland, fell asleep and crashed the vehicle into signage on the side of the highway.

The roadside signage smashed through the front windscreen of the truck, narrowly missing the driver.

Senior police say the incident serves as a reminder of the importance of taking regular rest breaks when on long drives.

Operations Commander of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Superintendent Stuart Smith, said there will be an increased number of motorists travelling long distances in the lead up to the holiday period and drivers need to make sure they take adequate rest breaks.

"If you fall into a microsleep while driving at 100 km/h, you'll travel 100 metres in just four seconds," Superintendent Smith said.

"It's absolutely imperative that drivers get a good night's sleep before setting off on a long drive.

"Furthermore, they should take regular breaks to ensure they remain alert and fully concentrated on the road whenever they are behind the wheel."

Topics:  crash truck driver

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