Surviving the Drive a Guide to Fatigue Management
This is the initial post in a 5-part blog series on road safety in the transport industry. We take a deeper look on the issues of fatigue management and its laws. Continue reading to know more about fatigue management and why it is important to be aware by its laws.
What is fatigue?
Fatigue refers to one’s physical and mental exhaustion that stops that person from functioning normally. In the first part of the series we are going to introduce fatigue management and tips on how to overcome it.
Driver fatigue or drowsy driving is one of the root causes of road accidents. Its main causes are not enough sleep, driving at night (when you should be asleep) and working or being awake all day long. Drowsy driving can be prevented in many ways, self-discipline is your number one key to a successful long drive.
National heavy vehicle driver fatigue laws apply to fatigue -regulated heavy vehicles. Fatigue management laws were created to help and protect drivers and their passengers to have a safety trip ahead. Here is the list to identify if your vehicle falls under the fatigue-regulated heavy vehicles:
- Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of more than 12t
- Combination when the aggregate of the GVM is more than 12t
- Buses with a GVM more than 4.5t fitted to convey more than 12 grown-ups
- A truck, or a mix including a truck, with a GVM of more than 12t with a machine or actualize joined.
In some cases, heavy vehicles are not classified as a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle. This includes trams, motor vehicles modified to primarily operate as a machine, bulldozers, tractors and motorhomes used for residential purposes.
The laws cover all parts of work and rest relating to this list:
- Work and rest hours
- Recording work and rest times
- Fatigue administration exclusions
- Chain of duty commitments
Right at the centre of the laws for fatigue management, is a primary duty – a driver must not drive a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle on a road while impaired by fatigue. Drivers must be aware they may be impaired by fatigue even when complying with work and rest limits.
In the second part of this series we will explore the Fatigue Management Exceptions.
Drowsy driving and fatigue driving can lead you to your worst nightmare. It can lead to fatal accidents. Around 20% of fatal road accidents involve driver fatigue.
Here are some tips on how to reduce or overcome fatigue and drowsiness by following these simple yet effective steps in your daily routine:
Get enough sleep
Make sure to have enough sleep before driving. It is not easy to tell that you are too tired to drive, so know when to pull over and get that power nap. Signs can be daydreaming, repeated yawning, troubling keeping your head up, drifting from lane, heavy eyelids.
If you feel like you need a break do it! Breaks you’ll still get you where you are heading. Pull over to the nearest gas station or rest stop. It is better to take a break than risk your life while driving drowsy.
Avoid alcohol and medications
Don’t do drunk driving, that is even worse than drowsy driving. Make sure not to drink liquor when you know that you’re about to drive. Always check your medications and take “non-drowsy” ones, that won’t affect your focus while driving.
Right meal for a long drive
Truck drivers tend to forget to eat on time when driving, if they do have a break unhealthy foods are common and are fast. It would be nice to snack on food that are high in fibre such as oats, broccoli, avocados and beans, fibre rich foods can leave you feeling fuller and are mostly low in calories and fat. For lunch and dinner grilled chicken breast with mixed greens are constantly great as they help fill your stomach yet can be low in calories and fat. Lastly drink lots of water, just be ready for a toilet break.
It doesn’t mean that you need to go to the gym daily. Before heading out just do a ten-minute walk or jog around or follow this simple workout steps https://www.burleighdrivertraining.com.au/truck-driving-licence-qld/
Alertness, awareness, self-discipline and focus are the basic keys on how to keep you from accidents. Tips are just ways on how to make your driving more convenient and hassle free. Keep in mind that safety is always a priority and be a responsible driver. Want to be notified when the next part in this series is available and other related posts? Follow us on our Facebook page for more news https://www.facebook.com/BurleighDriverTrainingSchool/ or contact us through phone
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