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Roadsafe Hawke's Bay - Fatigue

Roadsafe HB


Fatigue is tiredness, weariness or exhaustion. You can be fatigued enough for it to impair your driving long before you 'nod off' at the wheel - which is an extreme form of fatigue.

In 2019, fatigue was a contributing factor in 17 fatal crashes, 85 serious injury crashes and 491 minor injury crashes.

Driver fatigue is difficult to identify or recognise as contributing to a crash. This means it's likely that fatigue is under-recorded, and contributes to more crashes than we realise. Fatigue needs to be taken very seriously.

How fatigue can affect you

  • Slower reactions
  • Difficult concentrating
  • Poor risk judgment
  • Excessive speed changes
  • Centre line drift

These effects lead to a high number of single vehicle crashes involving a car striking a tree or other rigid object, and severe head-on collisions.

Warning signs of fatigue

  • Restlessness
  • Blinking frequently
  • Yawning
  • Breaking too late
  • Forgetting the last few k's
  • Drowsiness

Common myths

Common myths - Coffee, music, fresh air will only help with fatigue for the short term. Stopping and getting a good night's sleep is the only cure.

What can I do about it?

  • Take a break from driving, every 2 hours
  • Drive during daylight hours - when you could normally be awake
  • Share driving - swap drivers if possible
  • Have a power nap - no more than 20 minutes for best effect.

Follow Roadsafe Hawke's Bay on Facebook and check out their website here.

20 October 2020

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