Effects of Truck Driver Fatigue
Fatigue impairs your ability to safely perform even basic-driving tasks. It decreases reaction time, affects judgment, and can result in erratic-driving behavior. If a driver falls asleep for just four seconds while travelling at a speed of 100 km/h the vehicle will have gone 111 meters without a driver in control.
Australia’s national road tolls show that more than 20% of fatal road accidents involve driver fatigue. According to VicRoads Road Accident Facts Victoria, about 30% of severe single vehicle crashes in rural areas involve the driver being fatigued.
Further to this, in the year 2000 an Australian Federal Government inquiry, ‘Beyond the Midnight Oil’, a report compiled on Fatigue Management in Transport, found that fatigue related road accidents alone, cost around $3 billion every year.
Compliance and Enforcement For Fatigue Management
International evidence has accumulated which suggests that fatigue is a significant contributor to truck crashes. An investigation carried out by Transportation Research and Marketing, found that fatigue was a primary cause in 41% of heavy truck crashes and a probable cause in a further 18%.
In Australia to try and combat these shocking figures new legislation involving fatigue management has been introduced with the implementation with the national implementation of the Compliance and Enforcement (Chain of Responsibility) model legislation.
Starting September 2013, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, will introduce, changes to the new Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) in relation to fatigue management. This legislation will come into effect in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Western Australia and the Northern Territory will move to introduce the HVNL fatigue management legislation in the following months.
The legislation, covers ‘fatigue related’ heavy vehicles which are defined as:
- A vehicle with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of over 12 tonne
- A combination when the total of the GVM is over 12 tonne
- Buses over 4.5t with a seating capacity of more than 12 adults (including the driver).
Fatigue Management Laws
The fatigue management laws cover:
- Working hours
- Work diaries
- Fatigue management accreditation schemes
- Chain of responsibility.
Fatigue Management Training
Do you work in transport?
Do you understand the fatigue management laws?
Do you know the penalties that you are risking if you break these laws?
Are your staffed trained in fatigue management?
Does your company have a fatigue management policy?
The importance of Fatigue Management has become even more critical for companies and individuals. Fatigue Management Strategies are more than just log book compliance. Organizations and individuals must understand the “hows” of fatigue management; how to implement, how to recognize fatigue and more.
Learn more about Fatigue management strategies and application education