Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue is a leading cause of vehicle accidents. According to the TAC it may account for around 20% of all road fatalities in Victoria alone.

Everybody needs to sleep, and falling asleep at the wheel is one of the most dangerous places to do so.

Causes of driver fatigue

  • a lack of quality sleep
  • driving when you would normally be sleeping (overnight)
  • sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea, a sleeping condition that causes tiredness throughout the day.

Symptoms of driver fatigue

Fatigue is easy to detect, with symptoms including:

  • yawning
  • sore or heavy eyes
  • slower reaction times
  • finding you’re daydreaming and not concentrating on your driving
  • driving speed creeps up or down
  • impatience
  • impaired driving performance such as poor gear changes
  • stiffness and cramps
  • loss of motivation

Driving while tired or fatigued can result in:

  • slower reaction times
  • lack of concentration – errors in calculating speed and distance are common
  • reduced vigilance and poor judgement
  • nodding off – even for a few seconds can result in dire consequences

In fact, driving while going without sleep for upwards of 17 hours is akin to being over the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) legal limit.