Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue is one of the three big killers on NSW roads.

Fatigue-related crashes can happen on any trip no matter how long or short or what time of day. It’s important to think about how tired you are before driving, recognise the early warning signs when driving and know what to do to avoid driving tired.

Take the test before getting on the road:


In 2016, fatigue was the second highest contributing factor for crashes in North Sydney representing 5.1% of all crashes. This was below the five-year average (2012-2016) of 5.6%. Most crashes involving fatigue occurred in the 30-39-year age group.

The best way to prevent driver fatigue is to make sure you have enough sleep before driving, regardless of the length of your trip. Remember, sleep is the only cure for tiredness.

Below are some tips on avoiding fatigue-related accidents:

  • Get a good night's sleep before commencing a long trip.
  • Do not drive at times when you would normally be asleep.
  • Avoid long drives after work.
  • Take regular breaks from driving (use rest areas).
  • Share the driving whenever possible.
  • Pull over and stop when drowsiness, discomfort or loss of concentration occurs.
  • Find out whether any medicine you are taking may affect your driving.

If you feel tired when driving:

  • Pull over for a break in a safe place.
  • Pull over for a nap (20 minutes works best).
  • Swap drivers if you can.
  • Stop for a coffee if you’re on a short drive, although the effects of caffeine won't help for long and won't work for everyone.
  • Even if you don’t feel tired, take regular breaks to avoid becoming tired.

Recognise the early warning signs of fatigue:

  • Yawning
  • Poor concentration
  • Tired eyes
  • Restlessness
  • Drowsiness
  • Slow reactions
  • Boredom
  • Oversteering

Watch the Centre for Road Safety's video - Don't Trust Your Tired Self

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