Following on from the previous blog the NTARC states that fatigue still remains an issue of concern. The previous report had noted that since the September 2008 introduction of new legislation for heavy vehicle driving hours, and consequent fatigue reform, there had been considerable improvement in losses related to operator fatigue. With the current finding of 12.2% there has been neither an improvement nor deterioration in the fatigue result since the last report. The question is: With this result and similar findings since 2009, are we prepared to tolerate this outcome as the new acceptable standard for fatigue related major accidents?
The fact is 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. It also raises questions of the effectiveness placed on a prescriptive driver hour’s manual or electronic log books, when compared to the real benefits of astute driver management, fatigue training and regular driver health monitoring, which also encompasses sleep disorders.
The focus on fatigue, specifically the time of incident researched in this study, indicates that the vast majority (43.6%) of large losses reported between midnight and 0600 hours related to transporters of general freight.
The context of Day of Week for major fatigue related losses is relevant to this study. Whilst losses early in the week are consistent with previous findings, NTARC has established that the majority are on outbound legs from home port. There was a noticeable spike on Saturday losses which were investigated with 64.3% related to general freight movements.
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