Fatigue ranks as top fleet operator concern: study

New report states a quarter of fleet managers don’t trust their drivers to be safe on the roads

Fatigue ranks as top fleet operator concern: study
Reducing crashes is one of the top priorities among most fleet operators.


Australian fleet managers are concerned about the safety of their drivers on the road, a new study indicates.

Fleet and mobile asset management systems provider Mix Telematics conducted a nationwide survey where it asked 200 fleet operators about the challenges they expect to face this year.

Over a quarter (26 per cent) of respondents indicated that they do not have confidence that their drivers are safe behind the wheel, with 33 per cent highlighting fatigue as their biggest challenge to ensuring driver safety on the road.

"This is significant as a study conducted by Macquarie University last year found 80 per cent of truck drivers worked more than 50 hours a week, while 10 per cent did more than 80 hours each week," Mix Telematics states.

"This alarming statistic, coupled with the fact that the transport, postal and warehousing industry is ranked the second most dangerous industry in Australia strongly suggests that driver safety needs to be of high importance for fleet managers in 2018."

Over 50 per cent of respondents placed high importance on reducing crashes amongst their drivers.

Up to 37 per cent said they were not concerned with saving money, instead rating driver safety (46 per cent) and creating a culture of driver safety (31 per cent) as top compliance priorities.

"Truck drivers are working harder than ever under financial pressures with many pushing themselves to the limits to meet tight deadlines and increasing workloads, with catastrophic outcomes," MiX Telematics Australasian head of sales and marketing Lara Churton-Hughes says.

"We’ve already seen an 86 per cent increase in truck related deaths in NSW which sends a strong message to fleet managers to ensure they have policies and procedures in place to manage this issue," she says.

"The research indicates more needs to be done to protect drivers and other road users from the growing threat that fatigue poses.

"Advances in telematics technology solutions now make it possible to identify and monitor drivers who are tired and distracted and has been proven to significantly reduce fatigue related incidents by approximately 90 per cent and improve the efficiency of a fleet."

Fleet managers are using a range of technologies such as in-cab camera systems to monitor driver behaviour, Churton-Hughes says.

"If you’re being watched, you’re going to behave differently," she says.

"When a split second can be the difference between life and death, 46 per cent of respondents rely on telematics to get their drivers home safe and help them stay alert and focussed, trip after trip."

The Mix Telematics survey covered a total of 200 fleet managers from industries including transport and logistics, automotive, mining, oil and gas, construction and engineering. 

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