ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Fatalities and accidents on rural main roads (F.A.R.M) driver fatigue over short distances and transitional driving

Hogge, Janet, Sherlock, Glen, Vernicos, Angela



In 2000, Hawkesbury, Penrith, Baulkham Hills and Blue Mountains Councils commissioned research to be undertaken to investigate driver attitudes towards short distance driver fatigue and their understanding of transitional driving (urban to rural and vice versa).

The research fell into 2 categories: a survey of 320 people across 4 LGA?s and an analysis of RTA crash data for a 5 year period across 4 LGA?s.

Over 80% of drivers involved in fatigue related crashes lived within the LGA. This may indicate that they are having their crashes on short trips such as travelling to and from work, picking the children up from school and other day to day activities that only require a short drive.

A significant number of these drivers when surveyed, admitted that they were unsure of what short distance driver fatigue meant and that they did not always adjust their driving to changing environments.

This provided a significant challenge in terms of interventions to address these combined issues.

A range of resources have been developed to raise awareness of both driving while tired and being aware of moving between rural and urban road environments.

These include road side signs, a kit for Risk/OH&S Managers, posters and a pamphlet.

The kits have been distributed to organisations within the 5 LGAs who employ large numbers of staff. Councils have been included in the distribution process.

Road side signage has been installed at locations which were identified as part of the crash data analysis as being high risk in relation to fatigue related crashes. Each of the signs alerts drivers to the fact that they are entering a rural or urban environment and warns them to stay alert.

The signs have been located so as to provide a recurring reminder as they move between each of the LGAs.

The project builds directly onto our research and is putting into practice the recommendations identified in that research. The program resonates the conference theme ?From research to action?.

The project paper showcases innovation in road safety program delivery in so much as it builds on research not previously undertaken at a local level.

The project has the potential to be implemented at other locations with similar road safety issues which makes it of interest to on the ground road safety practitioners.