Male drivers are being urged to get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks, as research from Brake and Direct Line shows that 45 per cent of men admit to 'head-nodding', or falling asleep briefly behind the wheel. One-in-14 of all drivers admitted to fully falling asleep behind the wheel _ 14 per cent of male drivers and two per cent of female drivers, with almost half saying they sometimes drive with only five hours sleep, not deemed enough for safe driving. "The fact that so many drivers - especially men - have head-nodded at the wheel is horrifying, even more so that many don't recognise this means they have fallen asleep briefly. This survey suggests this is down to many people failing to ensure they always get sufficient sleep before embarking on journeys,î said Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of the road safety firm, Brake. 'We need all drivers to wake up to the fact that 'head-nodding' is falling asleep, and can easily lead to catastrophe, but it can, of course be prevented. 'Brake urges all drivers to pledge to get a good night's sleep before driving, take breaks every two hours, and never try to 'plough on' when they're tired, because sleep can ensue so quickly. Ultimately, getting home to your loved ones a bit later is better than never getting there at all." Head-nodding, also known as 'micro-sleeping', can last for two to 30 seconds and has the potential to cause major accidents on our roads. Tired driving kills around 300 people on UK roads every year, although this may be higher as it's often difficult to prove. Brake urges drivers to avoid the possibility of being involved in fatal crashes by ensuring that they get a good night's sleep before driving, while taking regular breaks at service stations. Rob Miles, director of Motor at Direct Line, said: "Tiredness and driving are a deadly combination. Not only is there a risk of falling asleep at the wheel, but when we are tired our reactions and awareness of our surroundings are not as sharp as they would normally be. 'Regular breaks, at least every two hours, are essential for staying alert and awake, as is getting plenty of sleep the night before." One-in-five deaths on UK trunk roads are caused by drivers falling asleep behind the wheel, with their vehicles typically running off the road or into the back of another vehicle, often at high speed without having had time to brake. Brake says that drivers should look out for warning signs of tiredness, including difficulty concentrating, yawning, heavy eyelids and their neck muscles relaxing.