Driving while tired is a high-risk activity and fatigue is a factor in a large number of road crashes¹. Organisations looking to reduce the risks associated with driver fatigue will benefit from new guidance published by the Global Fleet Champions (GFC) campaign.
Identifying and addressing driver fatigue guides fleet managers through the causes and consequences of fatigue and the different measures that fleet managers can introduce to help identify and reduce the risk of death or serious injuries resulting from a fatigue-related road crash.
Fatigue is particularly dangerous because it can affect anyone, regardless of how experienced a driver they are. People who drive for work are at particular risk, especially if they spend long hours driving and drive at night². Young men (aged 17–30) and people who work irregular shifts are more likely to suffer from fatigue³.
The guidance will help to increase awareness of the risks of driving while tired and how technology and good risk management can help reduce those risks.
Identifying and addressing driver fatigue features expert advice from key players in road safety, including Paul Jackson, head of impairment research at TRL. Jackson advises fleet managers to pinpoint the causes of fatigue in their workforce and use this knowledge to create an effective fatigue management strategy to prevent fatigue becoming a serious risk to their drivers.
David Lee, clinical director at Sleep Unlimited, explains the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea, a common cause of fatigue, and gives advice to help drivers manage the condition, explaining that failure to do so could result in serious financial, reputational and legal consequences in the event of a crash.
Sarah Plumb, senior fleet officer at Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Ensuring the safety of your fleet goes further than vehicle maintenance; the person behind the wheel also needs to be fit for the road. Fatigue can affect anyone, regardless of experience, and those who drive for work are at particular risk. This guidance report is a valuable resource for anyone who manages at-work drivers.”
Gerry Ross, head of commercial motor at Allianz Insurance, said: “Driver fatigue is a very serious issue – not only can it cause crashes, it can also lead to a driving ban and, in some situations, even a prison sentence. We believe it’s really important to provide fleet managers with support to help them tackle the issue of driver fatigue. By increasing awareness about the risks of driving while tired and taking appropriate action – such as implementing effective driving-at-work policies and driver training – businesses can safeguard their employees while helping to make roads safer for all.”
 World Health Organization, Global status report on road safety, 2018
 RSSB, Managing occupational road risk associated with driver fatigue: A good practice guide, 2018
 European Commission, Mobility and transport: Fatigue and crash risk, 2019