Driver safety matters a lot for a responsible freight forwarder in Melbourne since a single trucking accident can lead to significant business losses both for the client and the company itself. Aside from ensuring that every member of the fleet is in a good working condition, driver’s fatigue is also under its watch. Fatigue stems from extreme tiredness caused by insufficient rest, and it’s known to impair judgment and delay reaction time when one is behind the wheel, increasing the risk of accidents.
According to a study by the Adelaide Center for Sleep Research, a person who has not slept for 17 hours is twice more likely to be involved in an accident than a person with zero blood alcohol content. The study also uncovered that drivers who have been awake for 24 hours are seven times more at risk of an accident.
Per another study by the Monash University, accidents where fatigue is a major contributor are likely to occur during night time and in rural areas in Australia. Long trips, drowsiness, and the monotony that comes with the lack of physical and mental activity while driving on long stretches of road are believed to be the main causes. Accident risk rises further when other factors such as health disorders, eating habits, climate, drug intake, and psychic issues like conflicts, worries, and responsibilities join the picture.
Although majority of long-haul truck drivers are professionals, skill cannot take precedence over the body’s need for sleep. Truck drivers are more at risk of fatigue due to particular job demands that interfere with normal rest hours. Practices contributing to fatigue typically include early start times, prolonged night work, irregular work hours, and poor quality of sleep. Experts noted that shift work confuses the body’s circadian cycle, resulting in a variety of health problems and increased accident risk.
To enhance driver safety, leading companies such as State Transport have secured accreditation from credible transport management consultants that set guidelines for fatigue management. Operators from such companies are trained to comply with the standards set by the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation scheme. These firms also undergo regular audits of their transport management systems in aspects such as scheduling and rostering, driver’s health, documentation, workplace condition, and management involvement.
Delayed operations, material loss, lost client confidence, and bad publicity are just some of the consequences of transport accidents. But fate does not have much to do with it; lack of safety management does. When looking for Melbourne freight forwarders, choose one that complies with fatigue management standards to ensure that your goods and equipment are in good hands.
Fatigue statistics, Transport Accident Commission
Fatigue and fatigue research: The Australian experience, Monash University