A new campaign to combat drowsy driving has been launched in Victoria, Australia, after new data revealed it is a major cause of fatal crashes and serious injuries on the road every year.

The Transport Accident Commission data shows fatigue remains a major concern for drivers in the State, with close to one in five fatal collisions caused by drowsy driving, as well as around 300 serious injuries a year.

The TAC’s campaign, Pause Stop, encourages motorists to plan their summer road trips ahead of time and take a break every two hours, with rest breaks set up along key regional travel routes.

“Victorians will be looking forward to hitting the road for their summer holidays and that means driving longer distances on unfamiliar roads,” said Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Ben Carroll.

“Fatigue is a major cause of fatal crashes so we’re urging people to avoid driving if you’re drowsy, take plenty of breaks and allow for plenty of travel time so you’re not in a rush.”

The summer holidays are traditionally one of the busiest periods on Victoria’s roads, and the TAC says traffic volumes are expected to be particularly high this year with more people travelling domestically.

The organisation says the rest breaks offer a range of options to help drivers pause and revitalise before heading off on the next part of their journey.

Each site has free barista-made coffee and activities for children to stretch their legs before heading back on the road, as well as give-aways including canned water, eye masks, postcards and children’s activity packs.

More information on the rest break location sites can be found at tac.vic.gov.au/pausestop