Chilling Video Highlights Fatigue Danger

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Driver fatigue is one of the major risk factors on our roads. This dramatic footage shows a fatigued driver narrowly avoiding a head-on smash when he strayed on to the wrong side of a Pilbara highway.

The footage shows the driver of a mining van travelling in convoy drift across the road into the path of a road train travelling at more than 100km/h.

The van swerves and rolls, while the road train driver also takes evasive action.

The footage was captured on camera by one of the van driver's co-workers who was following in a truck.

Fatigue is often ranked as a major factor in causing road crashes although its contribution to individual cases is hard to measure and is often not reported as a cause of crash. Driver fatigue is particularly dangerous because one of the symptoms is decreased ability to judge our own level of tiredness.

Fatigue is more likely to be a factor in crashes in rural areas as they can involve long trips and extensive periods of continuous driving, however anyone can be affected by fatigue.

If you don't get enough sleep you go in to sleep debt and you owe yourself more sleep. The only way to repay this debt is by sleeping. Until you catch up on your sleep, you will have a greater risk of having a fatigue related crash.

Estimates suggest that fatigue is a factor in up to 30% of fatal crashes and 15% of serious injury crashes. Fatigue also contributes to approximately 25% of insurance losses in the heavy vehicle industry.

Research has shown that not sleeping for more than 17 hours has an effect on driving ability the same as a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.05. Not sleeping for 24 hours has the same effect of having a BAC of 0.10, double the legal limit.

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