There is no denying driver fatigue is a major contributor to road accidents in Victoria. Visit VicRoads for information about what causes fatigue and how to avoid it.
Rest areas not only provide the opportunity for road users to take a break, but can also provide a range of amenities such as toilets, food and driver information.
Driver Reviver is a community program operated by volunteers from a wide range of service organisations and community groups, whose members give up their own time to help reduce the road toll.
Each holiday season up to 220 Driver Reviver Sites open right across Australia.
Ideal places to take a break on a long journey, sites offer a free cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit, to help drivers feel refreshed before continuing their travel.
Signs of fatigue
If you are tired, pull over and have a powernap. Otherwise you may experience dangerous microsleeps and other signs of fatigue including:
- constant yawning
- drifting in the lane
- sore or heavy eyes
- trouble keeping your head up
- delayed reactions
- difficulty remembering the last few kilometres
- variations in driving speed.
How to avoid fatigue
If you don’t get enough quality sleep you go into debt – you ‘owe’ yourself more sleep – and the only way to repay this debt is by sleeping. Until you catch up on your sleep, you have a greater risk of having a fatigue-related crash.
Before you start driving:
- make sure you regularly get enough sleep
- be aware of your biological clock, namely that you are at an increased accident risk when driving between 1am-6am and 1pm-5pm
- don’t start a long trip after a long day’s work.
When you are driving:
- Take a powernap if tired. Research shows that even a small sleep — or powernap — of 10 minutes can significantly reduce your chances of a crash caused by fatigue
- Cool the car interior
- Don’t drink alcohol
- Take regular rest breaks to help reduce the effects of fatigue
- Eat proper and well-balanced meals, preferably at your normal meal times.
Remember that once you are fatigued the only cure is sleep!
A 15 minute powernap could save your life.