Over the past five years an average of 131 people have lost their lives on Victoria’s regional roads each year. Sadly in 2022 alone, that number reached 135 people.
Victoria is leading the way in improving driver safety with the introduction of compulsory seatbelt legislation and strict laws about drink driving and phone use. As part of their Safer Roads Program, Regional Roads Victoria are also implementing road safety barriers, widening road shoulders, and upgrading areas for cyclist and pedestrians. But road infrastructure and road laws are only part of the solution to reducing fatalities and injuries on our roads.
Regional and rural roads are often quiet, long and dark – a combination that can easily lull drivers into a fatigued state. One simple yet vitally important step all Victorian drivers can take to avoid loss of life or serious injury is not driving tired.
We support numerous clients every year who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by themselves driving fatigued, or someone else driving fatigued which placed our client in harm’s way. Particularly so in our regional offices. These type of transport accidents are largely preventable.
Many people struggle to recognise their fatigue or understand how quickly it develops.
Early signs of driver fatigue can include:
In addition to the above, signs of exhaustion can include:
Microsleeps are unintentional periods of light sleep or “nodding off”, that can last between 2 and 20 seconds. During this time you may lose attention, stare blankly, have partial or fully closed eyes, or you may find your head snapping upright. Driving while fatigued is very risky, but driving while this exhausted is exceptionally dangerous because the driver is essentially driving unconscious.
You can also prepare for a long drive by packing ahead of time, getting a good night’s sleep and using the VicRoads rest stop map to plan your breaks (personally, I like to stop in regional towns so I can try as many local bakery pies as possible).
We all need to acknowledge that being safer people when driving on roads is fundamental to reducing overall road trauma. Remaining alert and awake, following the road rules, and avoiding distractions can be the difference between arriving home to our loved ones or not.
If you have sustained injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident, you can arrange to speak to one of our lawyers by completing our free claim check.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Australian Capital Territory. If you need a lawyer in Canberra or elsewhere in Australian Capital Territory, please call us on 1800 675 346.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.