On average over 31 people are killed and 462 seriously injured each year on Queensland roads as a result of fatigue1.
The facts about Fatigue
- Being awake for about 17 hours has a similar effect on performance as having a blood alcohol content of 0.052.
- Fatigue-related crashes are often severe and frequently occur when the driver is alone.
- Most sleep-related vehicle crashes happen between 2am and 6am, and between 2pm and 4pm3.
- Young drivers/riders (16 to 24) are involved in approximately 30% of fatigue-related crashes where people were killed or hospitalised on Queensland roads4.
- Young drivers are more likely to be involved in a fatigue-related crash.
What does Fatigue do?
- Vigilance and alertness deteriorates
- Concentration suffers
- Performance is impaired
- Reaction times suffer
- Judgement is impaired
Recognise the Warning Signs
- Drifting in the lane or over lane lines
- Changing speed without reason
- Blinking more than usual
- Notice your eyes closing for a moment or going out of focus
- Feeling drowsy, tired or exhausted
- Having trouble keeping your head up
- Don’t remember the previous few minutes of driving
- Experience slower reaction times
Before You Drive!
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Avoid driving at times you’re normally sleeping
- Avoid long drives after a day’s work
- Understand the effects any medicine you’re taking might affect your driving
- Plan to include regular rest breaks on long trips
- Know and look for the warning signs of fatigue
- When possible, arrange to share the driving
- When you know you’re fatigued, avoid driving altogether. Take a taxi, public transport or rely on another driver.
REMEMBER – If you’re fatigued…
- Pull over in a safe place (such as a rest area or ‘driver reviver’ site) and take a break or even a nap
- When possible, share the driving
1 Department of Transport and Main Roads QLD. Unpublished data extracted 27 June 2018 using road casualty statistics 2013-2017.
2 Williamson, A. M. and Feyer, A. M. (2000). ‘Moderate sleep deprivation produces impairments in cognitive and motor performance equivalent to legally prescribed levels of alcohol intoxication.’ Occupational and Environmental Medicine 57(10): 649-655.
3 Horne, J. A. and Reyner, L.A. (1995) ‘Sleep related vehicle accidents.’ BMJ 310(6979): 565-567.
4 Department of Transport and Main Roads QLD, unpublished. Data extracted 27 June 2018 using road casualty statistics 2013-2017.