Fatigue is one of the most common problems among rideshare, taxi, hire car and limousine drivers. Drivers often experience long hours, vast distances of travel and unusual work hours that may result in tiredness, a lack of concentration and depleted energy.
A study by the Queensland government showed that being awake for 17 hours had a similar effect on performance as having a blood alcohol reading of 0.05 which is the equivalent of two standard drinks1. On average this has resulted in 31 deaths and over 450 serious injuries on Queensland roads each year due to fatigue related vehicle accidents.
From an industry perspective, taxis, limousines, hire cars and rideshare have very limited regulations in place for driver fatigue management unlike the heavy vehicle industry. The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator for instance has a complete fatigue management policy in place and accredited course framework to teach drivers about fatigue, with legislation in place to count work & rest time and provide training in fatigue risk management2.
The taxi industry, where there are approximately 20,0003 cabs on Australia roads and Ride hail companies like Uber, Ola and DiDi, with some 60,000 drivers now on the road4, have some basic fatigue management policies in place both online and through their apps which is a great start but that does not stop drivers from switching to another ride hailing app to another or from one type of work to another and then continue their driving. Not having a proper fatigue management policy in place for personalised passenger transport is a serious oversight and one that should be remedied by state government regulators.
The onus therefore is on the operator and the driver to ensure that fatigue management is addressed and taught to avoid negligence and increase safety for drivers and passengers alike. The best practice to enhance safety and awareness of fatigue is through education.
The DRVR Training Fatigue Management course is comprised of 23 lessons that has been specially designed to give drivers an in depth understanding of;
- Driver fatigue and the consequences
- Importance of sleep
- Causes of fatigue from medical issues, lifestyle choices or psychological problems
- Detecting fatigue
- Preventing fatigue
- Ensuring safety at the wheel
Take Fatigue Management seriously and ensure your drivers are fully trained in Fatigue Management – it could save lives!
1 Street Smarts QLD Government - https://streetsmarts.initiatives.qld.gov.au/driving-tired/factsheet
3 Taxi Numbers - https://www.pc.gov.au/research/completed/taxi-regulation/taxi-regulation.pdf
4 Uber Driver Numbers - https://www.michaelwest.com.au/investigating-uber-more-lawyers-than-drivers/