Comparison of the Fatigue Experiences of Short Haul Light and Long Distance Heavy Vehicle Drivers

This study sought to benchmark the self-reported experiences and views of fatigue among short haul light vehicle (Light) drivers against those of long distance heavy truck (Heavy) drivers. Light drivers (n = 270) who participated in a 2004–2005 state-wide survey were compared to Heavy drivers (n = 1007) who had been surveyed across Australia in 1998. Similar questions permitted comparisons of drivers, their work, their fatigue experiences and their views on fatigue management. Basic characteristics of the drivers’ fatigue experiences were similar but the groups highlighted different work-related contributors, effects and preferred management strategies. Light drivers reported working long day time hours with too few rest breaks and with high exposure to an urban traffic environment in an uncomfortable vehicle. Heavy drivers reported working long hours including at night, and highlighted dawn driving and time spent waiting to load and unload as particular fatigue contributors. Fatigue was manifested in impaired negotiation of an urban driving environment among Light drivers and difficulties with vehicle control and monotonous non-urban driving for Heavy drivers. Despite different manifestations shaped by work circumstances, at least as many Light drivers as Heavy drivers experienced fatigue frequently and as a problem. The Light transport sector may benefit, initially, from simple awareness raising and education about fatigue and its management as well as measures targeting relevant work contributors.


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  • Accession Number: 01492206
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 21 2013 11:36AM