driver-fatigue

Understanding Driver Fatigue & Why Your Business Should Be Wary Of It

Nilesh Maghzine

Contrary to the popular notion, a bad driver might be a really experienced individual behind the wheel. What makes this person behind the wheel labelled a bad driver is the lack of alertness due to induced fatigue related to prolonged working hours.

 

For this very reason, drivers should strictly adhere to working hours guidelines to avoid overworking and putting themselves and everyone on the road at the risk of imminent danger.

Digital activity loggers automatically record the individual driver working hours and can generate a report that can be easily shared and analysed by fleet managers to implement corrective measures and prevent future fatigue-triggered mishaps on the road.

 

1. What Is The Standard Hours Regulation?

The Road Transport Regulation targets management of heavy driver fatigue, applicable to drivers of heavy trucks with gross vehicle mass of over 12 tonnes or a truck trailer combination with combined gross vehicle mass of over 12 tonnes and busses that can accommodate more than 12 people including the driver.

The regulations set maximum hours of work, minimum rest periods, and provide 3 work and rest hours options; i.e, standard hours, basic fatigue management (BFM) and advanced fatigue management (AFM).

 

2. What Is The Standard Hours Work Option?

“Under Standard Hours, a driver can work for a maximum of 12 hours in a 24-hour window with no more than 144 hours of work time in a 14-day cycle.”

driver-fatigue

2.a. Standard Hours For Solo Drivers

Total periodMaximum work timeMinimum rest time
In any period of…a driver must not work forand must have at least…
 more than a total of… 
5 hrs 30 mins5 hrs 15 mins15 continuous mins rest
8 hrs7 hrs 30 mins30 mins rest, in blocks of 15 continuous mins
11 hrs10 hrs60 mins rest, in blocks of 15 continuous mins
24 hrs12 hrs7 continuous hrs stationary rest
7 days (168 hrs)72 hrs24 continuous hrs stationary rest
14 days (336 hrs)144 hrs4 night rests (includes 2 consecutive night rests)

2.b. Standard Hours For 2-Up Drivers

Total periodMaximum work timeMinimum rest time
In any period of…a driver must not work forand must have at least…
 more than a total of… 
5 hrs 30 mins5 hrs 15 mins15 continuous mins rest
8 hrs7 hrs 30 mins30 mins rest, in blocks of 15 continuous mins
11 hrs10 hrs60 mins rest, in blocks of 15 continuous mins
24 hrs12 hrs5 continuous hrs stationary1
rest or 5 continuous
hrs rest time in an approved sleeper berth while
the vehicle is moving
52 hrs 10 hrs continuous stationary rest
7 days (168 hrs)60 hrs24 hrs continuous stationary1
rest time and
24 hrs stationary rest time in blocks of at least
7 continuous hrs stationary rest
14 days (336 hrs)120 hrs4 night rests (includes 2 consecutive night rests)

*source: http://ols2.rta.nsw.gov.au/ebus/docs/rescat/pdf/4/1059/45094819stnhrs0908.pdf

 

3. What Are The Penalties For Not Following Standard Hours?

When it comes to Standard Hours protocol, all the 3 parties involved, be it the fleet business, the driver or the fleet manager need to understand is that abiding by regulations strictly helps in enhancing the overall well-being and safety which in turn results in better productivity and efficiency.

When these regulations are not adhered to, chances of an accident on the road increase highly which puts the driver and his or her surroundings, at risk.

Unsafe driving at lower levels of alertness can and also does lead to road accidents. Such accidents lead to danger to driver safety, damages to assets that include the cargo and the freight vehicle. More so, every time, a fleet vehicle gets involved in an accident, it leads to driver trauma, extended downtime with the vehicle spending more time in the repairs rather than being on the road. All this collates to damages in terms of driver reputation, company revenue and dissatisfied customers.

 

4. How To Stay Compliant And Reduce Driver Fatigue?

The two important factors to consider here are electronic logging devices and driver education. Both these help elevate safer working environments and aid businesses in growing better.

Electronic logging devices record driver working hours and generate constant reports that can be visualised by fleet managers to optimise working hours for drivers in order to prevent driver fatigue. Also, constant driver education also helps promote safer driving through safety tips, helpful insights and workshops that help condition the driver to react in a responsible manner, given the scenario while on the move, and on the job.

 

A fleet business should always implore the possibilities of investing in newer solutions, expand reach beyond the generic norms, explore opportunities beyond the current portfolio and always be versatile to revamp. adapt and reinvent itself based on the current market and technological trends.

 

With Linxio, maintaining your fleet vehicles is easier through our future-ready telematics solutions that offer real-time vehicle tracking, geofencing alerts and notifications, digitised logbooks and better driver communication.

 

To learn more, give us a call or get a 30 day free trial on all our fleet solutions.

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