SWOV Catalogus


Driver fatigue in small countries.
20010656 ST [electronic version only]
Brookhuis, K.A. Vlakveld, W. & Kraay, J.H.
Rotterdam, Ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstaat, Directoraat-Generaal Rijkswaterstaat, Adviesdienst Verkeer en Vervoer AVV, 2000, 13 p., 63 ref.

Samenvatting For at least half a century, long haul heavy vehicle transport is associated with accidents, notably of the fatal kind. The public image of long distance truck and bus operating is rather poor, mainly because of the severity of accident outcomes, in terms of both social and economical costs. Looking at the nature of these accidents, the association with driver fatigue is obvious. Therefore, specifically in countries where thousands of kilometres long haul transport is common business, considerable time and resources are devoted to the issue of driver fatigue. Mabbott (1999, 2000) lists the topics that have been endowed with plenty of research money in countries like Australia, the USA, etc.: fatigue detection, sleep disorders, sleep quality, physiological and bio-behavioural monitoring, truck crash studies and subjective evaluations. A lot of studies have been carried out that tried to answer the question whether fatigue, reduced arousal or drowsiness are related to errors and impairment in driving performance. Fatigue is found to be related to such factors as time on task, type of performance, circadian rhythm and inadequate or insufficient sleep. There is evidence that drowsiness is associated with decrements in performance, as measured in reaction time, perception, psychomotor co-ordination, decision-making and information processing (Rosekind, Gander, Smith, Miller, Oyung, Webbon & Johnson, 1996). Since fatigue and/or drowsiness may eventually lead to either decreased attention, which can diminish driver reactions to a dangerous level, or even sleep, which could lead directly to serious accidents, i.e., injury or death, it is clear why these topics are, at least on some research agendas. (A)
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