Australians are inundated with confronting horror stories about the dangers of speeding and drink driving, but fatigue is a major contributing factor that often slips under the radar when we talk about road safety.
This year, during National Road Safety Week 2021, we want to focus on the dangers of drowsy driving, because we know that it can be just as dangerous as any other form of impairment. In fact, the National Road Safety Action Plan says that "fatigue is four times more likely to contribute to impairment than drugs or alcohol". TAC found that driving while tired is a contributing factor in between 16-20% of all road crashes in Victoria.
This is especially true for those in the Australian transport industry, as drivers are often faced with the risk of fatigue during lengthy and irregular shifts. Long hours, insufficient downtime between shifts and unpredictable work schedules can impact a driver's ability to get good quality sleep.
As our roads return to pre-covid congestion levels and the reliance on road freight continues to grow, it's time for the transport industry to focus on building more positive sleeping cultures to keep workers safe. With lives genuinely at risk, combatting fatigue and building productive sleep cultures using evidence-based training and the latest technology should be a top priority for all transport executives.
Whether or not you're in the transport industry, drowsy driving is a massive problem that we all need to do our part to combat. 37% of people admit to driving while tired, don't be one of those people if you can avoid it.