Real-world research the key to understanding driver fatigue

Published: 19 Jul 2018

The National Transport Commission (NTC) is encouraging more heavy vehicle drivers to take part in a research project examining heavy vehicle driver fatigue.

In collaboration with industry and governments, the NTC is working with the Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity (Alertness CRC) to evaluate the impacts of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) on driver fatigue.

NTC Chief Executive Paul Retter says not enough evidence exists about the cause and impact of fatigue to determine the changes needed in fatigue policy.

“The heavy vehicle industry requires more flexibility in fatigue regulation, however first we need to better understand fatigue and the road safety challenges it represents.

“There is a lack of comparable data, and data in general, on fatigue risks associated with heavy vehicle driving. We need robust evidence to underpin any future reforms of the fatigue regulations in the HVNL,” Mr Retter said.

A new NTC video about the research project explores both the real-world and laboratory phases of the study with the view of encouraging more drivers to take part.

“Drivers are vital in helping us understand fatigue. We need more drivers and operators to take up this valuable opportunity to share their experiences,” Mr Retter said.

The research phase of the project is due for completion at the end of 2018.

The NTC will present findings to transport ministers in May 2019.

This project is part of the NTC’s broader work program which focusses on improving road safety outcomes.

For more information, see the NTC website.