OK. See you Monday, Sean.
How was work?
Oh, full on.
Get me home. I need some sleep.
Oh, I thought
we’d go up the lake tonight.
Are you serious?
Yeah. Yeah, come on.
The roads will be deserted.
I’ll have to call Mum.
At 2:00 in the morning?
(CHUCKLES) She’s gonna love you.
Well, I’ll call her first thing.
(MUSIC PLAYS ON RADIO)
Well, talk to me, hon.
Yeah, come on.
Pull over if you’re tired.
End of the transcript
This commercial shows a regular scenario - a young couple set off to drive overnight to their weekend destination. The driver dozes off and crashes his Kombi into the side of an on-coming truck.
Heading off on a long drive? Avoid driving tired as fatigue is a common cause of crashes on Victoria's roads.
Like alcohol, fatigue slows your reaction time and affects concentration and decision-making skills which are crucial to safe driving.
It doesn't matter how well you think you know the road or how much further you have to travel. If you're feeling drowsy, pull over.
Tips to avoid fatigue
Use Driver Reviver sites to take regular breaks.
Ensure you've had a good quality sleep prior to a long drive.
Don't drive at times that you would ordinarily be sleeping.
Never drink alcohol - even small quantities - before and during long trips.
Share the driving when possible.
Schedule regular pit stops - at least every hour-and-a-half.
What doesn't work
Having a cup of coffee, tea or caffeine drink
Winding down the window
Turning up the air-conditioner
Turning up music in the car (also a distraction)
What to do if you become drowsy while driving
- Find a safe place to stop and take a 15 minute powernap. Driver Reviver sites, available during most holiday periods, are ideal for this.
Fatigue is basically extreme tiredness. This is brought about by not enough rest over a period of time - whether from mental or physical exertion or illness.
Ideally, each individual needs between seven and eight hours of good quality sleep each night. Those with less build up sleep debt, or sleep deficit. At worst, drivers with sleep debt risk nodding off, yet fatigue can impair reaction time and decision making when behind the wheel which increases the risk of being involved in an accident.
If a driver falls asleep for just four seconds while travelling at a speed of 100 km/h the car will have gone 111 metres without a driver in control.
At high speed, a crash is likely with a high risk of death or severe injury. Fatigue is a major cause of crashes in Victoria resulting in some 50 deaths and approximately 300 serious injuries each year.
Drivers at Risk
Those groups of drivers considered at greatest risk of being involved in a fatigue-related accident are:
- young drivers
- shift workers, including heavy vehicle drivers and
- drivers with sleep disorders.
People often nod off or fall asleep when not intending to - while sitting on the couch watching TV, during a long meeting, or reading a book or newspaper but if it happens while driving - even for a couple of seconds - the car is out of control.
Informing drivers about the dangers of fatigue and key avoidance strategies are high road safety priorities for the TAC, with the aim of helping to reduce road trauma on Victoria's roads.
Download the fatigue case study below: