Outbound from home accident stats highlight fatigued drivers

Fatigue management …and the direction of Travel

Fatigue management is well known as a major issue affecting us all.  What is both surprising and concerning is the Direction of Travel shows a marked difference with two out of every three losses occurring on the outbound journey from home.

Leaving home is always difficult, especially after holidays, but for many drivers this is compounded by their desire whilst at home, to catch up on all the normal family commitments, home and yard chores, visits with friends, washing the truck and completing the “wife’s list ” :)

So oftentimes, drivers will leave home already fatigued.  The statistics show the majority of accidents happen in the first 250 kilometres, and the vast majority of fatigue-related accidents happen between midnight and 6 am.

So what can the WAGs and partners do to help ?  …. Minimise “the List “

Below are suggestions from TSAA members and their partners.

  • Some partners will mow the lawns, and either do the small maintenance jobs or outsource them, so the driver can rest, or have time to  go out to dinner and spend time as a family, when they home.
  • Ensure their car is fuelled or maybe the mower fuel is full.
  • Make agreements that work for you – i.e perhaps the first 24 hours are phone free and social-obligation free if possible.
  • Get the kids to help clean the leaves out of the water tank filter, and other little jobs like weeding to save him.
  • Clearly larger jobs may need to be left for the driver, especially where it is important to them. e.g.  A driver loves to garden for relaxation when he is home.
  • Making sure to send them off with a smile and a hug and in a positive frame of mind. When a driver is confident their choice to go to work is the right one, they can concentrate on the job at hand in a much safer manner.
  • What do you and your partner do to help minimise the outbound tiredness ?

The chart below includes the direction of travel to highlight the degree of influence of such matters as driver’s fitness for duty / fatigue and trip preparation in the context of loading and vehicle readiness.

NTI’s data showed that two out of every three losses occur on the outbound journey from home base. In cases where
inappropriate speed was the finding (21.5%), 49.4% occurred on Mondays or Tuesdays, whereas where fatigue was found (12.6%), most incidents were on Mondays with that day and Tuesday accounting for 41.1% of major incidents.

The National Truck Accident Research Centre ( NTARC) is an independent research facility established by NTI ( National Transport Insurance) which continues to be the leading commercial vehicle and equipment insurer in Australia. “We are cognisant of the fact that if the driver does retire for rest and does not experience quality sleep, even a short period of driving can be affected by fatigue.

By overlaying traffic volumes, the relative risk of a fatigue incident at a given time of the day was assessed. Measured in this way, the risk for a truck driving between midnight and 6am was over triple that of the daily average. By contrast the range of time covering ‘business hours’ had a risk of a fatigue crash around half the daily rate.

Download the full report here ;

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