20190255 ST [electronic version only]
[Brussels], European Commission / European Road Safety Observatory (ERSO), 2018, 63 p., ref.
This text provides an introduction to the subject of driver fatigue, its causes, consequences, and possible countermeasures. The first section examines the characteristics of fatigue, its physiological and psychological components, and the progression of fatigue. The five main causes of fatigue are described as:
* Lack of sleep or poor sleep * Internal body clock (circadian rhythm) * Time-on-task (long working hours) * Monotonous tasks (lack of stimulation) * Individual characteristics including medical conditions. Information is given on how fatigue affects driving behaviour in general, steering, speed choice, following behaviour and how compensatory strategies to fight off the effects of fatigue are ineffective. This section also explains that the ‘driving without awareness’ phenomenon should not be confused with driver fatigue and discusses some important individual differences. Research results are given on the prevalence of fatigued driving among private drivers, young drivers, professional drivers, and shift workers. Descriptions are also given on how to recognise fatigue-related crashes, their frequency and the evidence concerning the relationship between fatigue and risk. The focus is on a range of groups with a higher risk of driver fatigue: young drivers, professional and truck drivers, shift workers and drivers with sleep and breathing disorders. Finally, potential countermeasures are outlined, such as publicity, infrastructure, in-vehicle detection and warning, legislation and enforcement, fatigue management programs and a consideration of the need for further countermeasures. At the end of each section the main conclusions are summarised. (Author/publisher)
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