Fatigue and sleepiness are key risk factors in driver safety. Operating any vehicle while sleep deprived will increased the risk of a crash, and over time, may impact the physical and mental wellbeing of the driver.
The Alertness CRC research suggested that the most significant causes of driver fatigue are longer periods of work, night driving, shift work (especially early shifts; night shifts; backward shift rotations and long shift sequences. According to the National Transport Commission (NTC), fatigue is the leading cause of single-vehicle accidents and a key factor is 9.8 % of major accidents.
In April 2019 the NTC and the Alertness CRC released the results of a world first study into heavy vehicle driver fatigue. The two-year study evaluated alertness monitoring technology by using it to evaluate the impact of work-rest scheduling features on alertness and drowsiness in order to inform fatigue policy. The project findings validated the utility of alertness monitoring technology, confirming its ability to identify drowsiness-related driving impairment. ASAC now is in the process of expanding upon the findings of the Alertness CRC outputs and wish to collaborate with partners to produce knowledge and devices that can save lives on our roads via reduced sleepiness and detecting driver drowsiness.