A Deloitte Access Economics report released on sleep deprivation effects on Tuesday August 8th, in a study, funded by the Sleep Health Foundation, and reported in News Corp (Daily Mail On-line) papers; found some 3017 people died from fatigue, with at least one person dying every day from falling asleep at the wheel of a vehicle. The frightening figure quoted was that this was double that of 2016. “Sleep deprivation deaths double the Australian road toll in 2016, which was 1298”
The story stays the same; people who tired are a problem on the road, with numbers who are dying, being greater than that of drug overdoses. Policing and prevention program dollars are going into attacking the drug problem and while there is a constant killer lurking on our roadways.
What are the causes of these accidents? An increase in electronic device use particularly at night, (which reduces alertness), reliance on coffee and other caffeinated drinks and taking work home are major contributors to sleep deprivation.
Heart disease and diabetes were also linked to sleep deprivation impacting on health and wellbeing.
The alarming figures cited in the report reminds us that effective fatigue management plans, better policing of drowsy drivers and a positive approach to individual health are important. As drivers and operators of vehicles, the devastating impact of sleep deprivation related accidents is high and long lasting.
The NHVR and the Transport & Logistics Industry Reference Committee are continuing to work on improving the training for Heavy Vehicle drivers and Operators. As noted in previous articles, new fatigue management units have been developed and new training requirements will be forthcoming.
Read the full article here: