The Real Dangers of Fatigue

By Ronak Shah

Did you know that in a short three-second microsleep, you can travel the distance of a rugby field without even knowing it ( New Zealand Transport Agency )? Australian estimates indicate that fatigue accounts for up to 30 per cent of single-vehicle crashes in rural areas ( New Zealand Transport Agency ) . But because it is difficult to recognise fatigue as a contributing factor, it often goes unrecorded.

So how does fatigue actually affect you? Without even knowing it, fatigue can impact you in many ways including slow reaction times, poor risk judgement and difficulty concentrating. This can cause significant risk if vehicles around you suddenly break or if there is a hazard on the road. Fatigue can also cause centre line drift which can be extremely dangerous when travelling on highways for long durations where fatigue often kicks in. These symptoms commonly lead to a high number of single-vehicle crashes such as striking a tree as well as head-on collisions with nearby vehicles.

Corporate Driver Training Australia believes that drivers should be using low-risk driving techniques to eliminating the risk of fatigue altogether as opposed to using coffee, fresh air and loud music to try and avoid the onset of fatigue. Some of these techniques include taking a break every two hours, getting a good sleep the night before as well as finding a co-worker to share the driving. It is also important to try to schedule your drive during a period that you would normally be awake to minimise the risk of early-onset tiredness. To find out more about CDTA low-risk driving techniques, visit  

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