FATALITIES AND ACCIDENTS ON RURAL MAIN ROADS (FARM)
This study focuses on motor vehicle accidents occurring on journeys of under two hours in duration (driver fatigue over short distances) and the possible contribution of changes in driving environment (transitional driving) to this phenomenon. The study was conducted as two separate components, a statistical and an empirical analysis. The empirical, survey based component points towards a lack of understanding on two levels; firstly, the possibility of fatigue related crashes occurring at all on journeys of under two hours. Secondly, knowledge of the impact changes in road environment have on concentration levels.
The statistical research uses contemporary mapping of crash data and highlights the occurrence of accidents where fatigue is a factor happening within the controllers own Local Government Area (LGA). It also revealed the high rate at which accidents occurred in areas where road environments changed considerably, for example, when going from urban to rural environments transitional driving) as drivers do regularly in the Baulkham Hills, Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains and Penrith LGAs.
The aim of the study is to firstly identify the occurrence of fatigue related accidents over short distance, and secondly, to reveal some of the contributing factors. Transitional driving, work environment pressure, and ever increasing work hours as contributory factors are discussed. The study is limited to four LGA?s, chosen specifically for their geographical make up which, in each instance includes both urban and rural roads and a heavy reliance on motor vehicles when traveling to and from workplaces, both inside and outside the controllers LGA. To our knowledge this type of research has not been undertaken before. This FARM research is a completed set of two reports. However the findings of this study indicate the need for further research on both road safety issues.