'Truck stop' to combat fatigue

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A TRUCK stop event aimed at addressing road safety messages around fatigue will be held in Gisborne tomorrow.

The event is called Be Fit For the Trip and there will be mini health checks for drivers as well as fatigue packs, free food and coffee handed out.

The truck stop will be next to the Captain Cook Motel on Awapuni Road and will run from 10am to 2pm.

Di Akurangi of Tairawhiti Roads said the truck stop is based around being prepared for road trips.

“It’s about informing and educating drivers on road safety, in particular fatigue, which can seriously impair judgement.

“It can affect anyone, even those who drive for a living or who feel they are capable of normal activity after minimal sleep.”

It is particularly dangerous because one of the symptoms of fatigue is a decreased ability to judge our own level of tiredness, Ms Akurangi said.

“Fatigue is a more common factor in road traffic crashes than drugs or alcohol.

“Globally, it is estimated that fatigue driving is responsible for 20 percent of all road traffic fatalities.

“Fatigue is a physiological condition that can occur long before you fall asleep at the wheel.

“It has negative impact on your reaction time, your ability to concentrate and your general understanding of the road and traffic around you.”

The three main causes of fatigue:

  • Lack of sleep. This is the most commonly known cause of fatigue. Different individuals require different levels of sleep, although the average is seven to eight hours of sleep a day. If you don’t get a full night’s sleep then it’s likely to cause fatigue, and it can build up over time if sleep continues to be restricted.
  • Circadian rhythms. Everybody has a built-in body clock in the brain that biologically determines when we will feel sleepy. These circadian rhythms programme us to feel at our most sleepy between 3am and 5am, and between 3pm and 5pm in the afternoon.
  • Time spent driving/working. Research shows that the longer someone spends driving without a break, the greater their level of fatigue. Also, the time spent in other activities such as work, school, etc, before driving can increase fatigue and affect subsequent driving.

A TRUCK stop event aimed at addressing road safety messages around fatigue will be held in Gisborne tomorrow.

The event is called Be Fit For the Trip and there will be mini health checks for drivers as well as fatigue packs, free food and coffee handed out.

The truck stop will be next to the Captain Cook Motel on Awapuni Road and will run from 10am to 2pm.

Di Akurangi of Tairawhiti Roads said the truck stop is based around being prepared for road trips.

“It’s about informing and educating drivers on road safety, in particular fatigue, which can seriously impair judgement.

“It can affect anyone, even those who drive for a living or who feel they are capable of normal activity after minimal sleep.”

It is particularly dangerous because one of the symptoms of fatigue is a decreased ability to judge our own level of tiredness, Ms Akurangi said.

“Fatigue is a more common factor in road traffic crashes than drugs or alcohol.

“Globally, it is estimated that fatigue driving is responsible for 20 percent of all road traffic fatalities.

“Fatigue is a physiological condition that can occur long before you fall asleep at the wheel.

“It has negative impact on your reaction time, your ability to concentrate and your general understanding of the road and traffic around you.”

The three main causes of fatigue:

  • Lack of sleep. This is the most commonly known cause of fatigue. Different individuals require different levels of sleep, although the average is seven to eight hours of sleep a day. If you don’t get a full night’s sleep then it’s likely to cause fatigue, and it can build up over time if sleep continues to be restricted.
  • Circadian rhythms. Everybody has a built-in body clock in the brain that biologically determines when we will feel sleepy. These circadian rhythms programme us to feel at our most sleepy between 3am and 5am, and between 3pm and 5pm in the afternoon.
  • Time spent driving/working. Research shows that the longer someone spends driving without a break, the greater their level of fatigue. Also, the time spent in other activities such as work, school, etc, before driving can increase fatigue and affect subsequent driving.

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