23 of April marks Driver Fatigue Awareness Day which highlights the dangers of driving while tired and the importance of managing fatigue.
“Falling into a micro-sleep, even for a few seconds, can be fatal – a driver can travel more than 100 metres without any control at all over their vehicle,” said Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development.
Scott Buchholz, Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport said that driver fatigue has been identified as one of the ‘Fatal Five’ road safety factors that contribute to road trauma with fatigue being a factor in up to 30 per cent of all deaths and injuries on Australian roads.
According to a statement released by McCormack, the Federal Government has been delivering record levels of infrastructure spending designed to increase road safety across Australia.
The Federal Government has invested $2 billion into the Road Safety Program designed to reduce risk across Australia. The $8 million Driver Reviver Site Upgrade Program is currently in its second stage with applications closed and being assessed.
Buchholz says Driver Reviver Sites are critical to tackling driver fatigue and ensuring road safety.
“These investments will deliver practical safety improvements such as shoulder sealing and rumble strips to help keep drivers on the road and in their lane,” said Buchholz. “This will help reduce the $30 billion annual cost of road crashes to the national economy.”
Ensuring drivers have slept before driving, are taking regular breaks or pulling over to take a nap when feeling fatigued, can affect whether one reaches their destination alive.
“Most importantly, the program will reduce the amount of lives lost and the immeasurable suffering that follows for the families and friends affected,” said Buchholz.