Driver fatigue is one of the top three contributors to deaths on Australian roads. In fact, research conducted for Transport NSW has shown that fatigue can be as dangerous as drink driving. But unlike drink driving, there are no laws regulating driver fatigue.1

Many people think fatigue is only a problem for long distance drives, however it is just as relevant for shorter trips as well.

Generally, people are already tired when they get behind the wheel, either from long hours at their job, shift work, a general lack of sleep, sleep apnoea, or physically demanding tasks.2

Watch for the early warning signs of fatigue

Regardless of the distance you plan to travel, make sure you have had enough sleep before driving. The early warning signs of fatigue are:

  • Yawning
  • Poor concentration or daydreaming
  • Sore or heavy eyes
  • Restlessness
  • Drowsiness
  • Slow reaction times
  • Boredom or loss of motivation
  • Impaired driving performance, such as oversteering
Tips for avoiding driver fatigue

Sleeping is the best way to address fatigue. If you’re tired, make a choice not to drive, or follow these tips to prevent fatigue: 2

  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Don't travel for more than 8–10 hours each day
  • Avoid driving at night or any periods when your body is accustomed to sleep
  • Arrange to share the driving
  • Avoid long drives after work
  • Plan to take regular breaks – at least every two hours at a designated rest area
  • Don't drink alcohol before your trip – even a small amount can significantly contribute to driver fatigue
  • Take a 15 minute power nap if you feel yourself becoming drowsy
  • Find out if any medicine you are taking may affect your driving
Rest areas and driver reviver locations

Designated rest areas allow drivers and motorcyclists to park safely and walk around before continuing their journey. Service centres, petrol stations, parks, and country towns are other places you can stop and take a break from driving.1

Driver reviver sites operate during holiday periods. Look out for specially marked coffee cup signs along major highways to find out where and when they are operating.3

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Please note the information in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any decisions based on this article
This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL 234708 (“Allianz”). Information contained in this article is accurate as at 23rd April 2021 and may be subject to change. In some cases information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way. Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither Allianz, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.

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