NHVR focuses on fatigue detection technology

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) will consult with operators on the emerging role fatigue detection technologies are playing in heavy vehicle transport safety and productivity.

NHVR Fatigue Specialist, Andreas Blahous, said the latest research commissioned by the NHVR showed there are considerable safety and productivity benefits for heavy vehicle businesses using technology to monitor fatigue and distraction.

“This really has the potential to be a game changer and we will work towards a collaborative approach to adopting the new technology that includes drivers and management,” said Blahous.

The NHVR commissioned independent consultants from HGH Consulting and CQ University, including fatigue specialist Dr Drew Dawson to undertake the study, following feedback from operators at the inaugural NHVR Fatigue Safety Summit in 2018.

The study included information from 80 transport and bus company employees – including drivers, owners, schedulers and safety staff – from 12 road freight and bus companies.

According to Blahous, interviews were also conducted with eight suppliers involved in developing, manufacturing or selling safety equipment.

“The study found that the use of technology significantly reduced the frequency of fatigue and distraction events and ‘will enable drivers and operators to better identify and address unsafe driving behaviours prior to accidents’,” he said.

“According to the research, the technology showed that distraction events outnumbered fatigue events by four to one.”

The research report: Phase 2 Fatigue and Distraction Detection Technology Use in the Australian Road Freight Transport Sector is available here.

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