Driver fatigue is a major issue that affects many drivers, especially those who drive long distances. It is estimated that fatigue contributes to up to 20% of all road accidents. As a result, it is essential to understand how to manage driver fatigue and reduce its risk.
Why Is Fatigue Management Necessary for Fleets?
When travelling at 100 kilometres per hour, if a driver nods off for just four seconds, the car will travel an additional 111 metres. According to the Transport Accident Commission of Victoria, around 50 people each year are killed, and another 300 are seriously injured as a direct result of accidents caused by driver fatigue.
Although data at the national level may be inconsistent, it is clear that drowsy driving is a significant contributor to a significant number of preventable deaths and injuries on our nation’s roadways. The most conservative estimates place the percentage of crashes attributable to fatigue at 5%, based on coronial and police citations. The number rises to as high as 30% when you factor in distraction-related crashes, according to the Australian Transport Council (formerly the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure).
Managing Fatigue in Commercial Vehicle Drivers
For Fleet Managers, the issue of commercial driver fatigue management goes beyond questions of morality and individual accountability. The management of fatigue among drivers of heavy vehicles and of CMVs is an important issue in Australian law.
Training Programs for Drivers
In order to stay on the right side of the law, all of your heavy vehicle and commercial vehicle drivers must receive training on how to prevent fatigue-related accidents. Driving Safety, for instance, is only one of many helpful resources for researching the many driver education programmes spread out over Australia.
Management of Driving-Related Risks
Fleet managers can use technology for commercial driver fatigue management to keep their staff safe and in accordance with the law. In-Vehicle Driver Monitoring Systems (IVMS), often known as fleet management software, can be used to keep tabs on and improve drivers’ well-being. In particular, high-tech setups make use of driver attention monitors, which track a driver’s gaze to determine whether or not they are paying attention behind the wheel. In the event that the driver’s concentration begins to wane, the device will activate the brakes and flashing lights.
Furthermore, fleet managers have access to tools such as GPS trackers for vehicles. When combined with fleet management software, these gadgets produce what are called “driver monitoring systems,” which keep tabs on things like speeding, aggressive driving and braking, and rough turning, among other things, and report on it. Fleet managers can use this information to effectively steer their drivers away from risky behaviour.
Vehicle Communication Systems
- In-Vehicle Communication
For the most part, fleet management systems are the ones that allow for communication between vehicles. As was noted before, these technologies enable two-way communication between drivers and your company’s central office or fleet manager. In essence, these systems give companies the ability to leverage information gathered from a GPS driver tracking system and communicate them directly with the driver in real-time to ensure that the right driving action is made, should fatigue present itself as a concern.
- Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication
There is also the possibility of inter-vehicle communication with the help of some of the more modern technologies. Using this system, cars can share information about potential road risks with their drivers.
All Australian fleet managers need to take Driver Fatigue Management seriously, and they may do so with the help of fleet management systems and driver communication.
Overall, driver fatigue management is of utmost importance when it comes to safety on the roads. It is essential to recognise the signs of fatigue, such as yawning, slow reactions, and poor concentration, and to take steps to prevent it.
Employers should ensure that their employees are well-rested before undertaking journeys and that they are aware of the risks of driving while fatigued. By understanding the importance of driver fatigue management and taking steps to prevent it, we can ensure that our roads are safer for everyone.
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