Better management of driver fatigue is the focus of National Driver Fatigue Week from February 21-27.
Organiser Andrea Hamilton-Vaughan, road safety officer at the Orange City and Cabonne Chire Councils in NSW, believes every pre-start checklist for heavy vehicle drivers should ask, ‘How will you manage your driver fatigue today?’
Hamilton-Vaughan said driver fatigue is one of the three big killers on Australian roads and the number one cause of fatal crashes in the heavy vehicle industry.
“Sooner or later every truckie will face driver fatigue and the consequences can be fatal,” said Hamilton-Vaughan.
“For many, a simple 15-20 minute power nap can avert a tragedy.”
The focus of national driver fatigue week is to educate all road users that a power nap is a “viable intervention strategy” when overcome with fatigue while driving.
To get involved in this year’s campaign, individuals and fleet owners can now download a free tool kit here.
Orange and Cabonne Councils launched the power nap campaign last year, funded by the NHVR, as an intervention strategy to prevent fatal fatigue crashes across the heavy vehicle fleet.
The launch focused on an extensive social media campaign with over 330,000 power nap hashtags used on Instagram alone, truck signage and 100,000 branded takeaway cups.
“We still have 14 trucks with signage on the road including Tipping’s Transport in Dubbo,” added Hamilton-Vaughan.
“It is our intention to partner with Truck Ads and seek funding to put 100-300 trucks on the road throughout Australia.”
Hamilton-Vaughan said the campaign has been very successful reaching individual drivers who report they use power naps to manage their driver fatigue regularly.
“However, we need to reach more drivers and people within the industry,” she said.
“Long-term change will only be realised where educational materials support each other, and key messages are repeated over time.
“This is why National Driver Fatigue week is valuable for the heavy vehicle industry to highlight the number one cause of fatal and injury crashes nationwide.”