The true dangers of driver fatigue

Did you know that driver fatigue is one of the biggest killers on the roads? It’s also one of the hardest accident causes to combat – many don’t realise they are tired and it’s difficult to police. The majority of people are likely to be fatigued either in the morning or later in the afternoon.

Driver fatigue can strike at any time while driving, but particularly if you’ve had a long day, not enough sleep or when you’re running on empty. Driver fatigue impacts your reaction time to road hazards as well as the time it takes you to respond to situations you encounter when driving.

What’s interesting is that driver fatigue can only partly be attributed to being tired of not having enough sleep – it can also happen to you while driving in a highly monotonous journey, such as a long road trip through the outback.

Tired or fatigued drivers have lower performance – they take longer to react to hazards. Besides the increase in reaction time, driving fatigued can also lead to impaired attention, the inability to focus and the impairment of decision making. This not only leads to you taking longer to notice a road hazard, but also means that if you’re driving fatigued, you will find it harder to assess the danger and then to make the appropriate decision to avoid it.

Microsleep or the short term loss of consciousness, typically occurs to fatigued drivers. This loss of consciousness, if only for a fraction of second, can be highly dangerous while actively driving. Microsleep can even occur and not be actively noted – in such cases, drivers will assume temporary loss of focus while they’ve actually been sleeping for short periods of time.

Driver fatigue can lead to accidents. We are here to help you after an accident, call us as soon as possible on our dedicated accident support line. 📞1300 889 256