Driver fatigue continues to have a significant impact on our roads with fatigue estimated to contribute to 20% of road fatalities, according to the Transport Accident Commission. Fatigue impacts not only on driver concentration but also reaction times, judging speed and perceiving distances. This heightened sense of drowsiness can also cause drivers to fall into a microsleep whereby they lose a sense of awareness behind the wheel. So what can drivers do to make sure they aren’t causing risk to themselves or others on the road?
Prepare for your drive
Many drivers will simply jump into their vehicle for a long drive without thinking about how they should be preparing for their journey. If possible, drivers should avoid driving when they would usually be sleeping as this can cause the body to enter a state of fatigue early on in their drive. In order to avoid this, drivers should ensure a good sleep the night before, avoid drinking alcohol and try to find a co-worker or friend to assist in sharing the drive shift. This will ensure optimal preparation and assist in avoiding the onset of driver fatigue.
It is recommended that users take a break every two hours on long journeys. During these breaks, drivers should get out of the car, go for a walk and stretch their muscles. This break may only need to be a quick 10-minute pit stop but should extend as long as the driver feels necessary to ensure that they have the optimal concentration for their next drive. Many workplaces in Australia have already implemented safe driving policies to ensure that their drivers are taking regular breaks and recording their trip details.
By preparing for their journey and taking regular breaks, drivers will have the best possible chance at avoiding fatigue and staying safe on the roads. Corporate Driver Training Australia offers in-depth low risk driving courses for businesses that are focused on avoiding fatigue and improving driver safety so that all employees can stay safe on the roads. Check out our course information for more details.