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Fatal Five 
Driving Tired
Fatigue is one of the ‘Fatal Five’ contributing factors to road crashes.


Driving is a complex, multi-skilled task that requires a high level of concentration, which is reduced when we’re tired. People think fatigue is only an issue on long distance drives, but people generally don’t become fatigued from driving. Usually, they are already tired when they get behind the wheel from long hours, shift work, lack of sleep, or physically demanding roles.

Recognise the warning signs of fatigue

  • Yawning

  • Blinking frequently

  • Sore or heavy eyes

  • Slower reaction times

  • Difficulty remembering the past few kilometres driven

  • Drifting from your lane or poor driving performance

  • Driving speed creeps up or down

  • Stiffness and cramps


  • Impatience


  • Microsleeps

How to beat fatigue

  • Get at least seven hours’ sleep the night before your journey.
  • Plan your route before setting off, including where you’ll take a break.
  • Take regular breaks from the road – at least every two hours.
  • Consider swapping drivers where possible.
  • Don’t drink alcohol before your trip. Even a small amount can significantly contribute to driver fatigue.
  • Don’t travel at times when you’d usually be sleeping.
  • Take a 15-minute powernap if you feel yourself becoming drowsy.

Driver Reviver

Driver Reviver is a community program operating in Australia for more than 30 years. Powered by volunteers from a wide range of service organisations and community groups, members give up their own time on long weekends to promote road safety and help reduce the road toll. The program aims to provide opportunities for local communities to contribute to addressing fatigue-related road trauma. By visiting an operating Driver Reviver site, travellers can take a break in their journey for a free cup of Bushells coffee or tea, an Arnott’s biscuit and most importantly, a chance to stop and revive so drivers reach their destination safely.

  • Did you know?

    Being awake for about 17 hours has a similar effect on driving performance as having a blood alcohol content of 0.05.
  • Fatigue Myth or Fact?

    If I’m tired I’ll just drink a coffee.
    Some people rely on short-term remedies to offset the symptoms of fatigue, such as drinking coffee or energy drinks, turning up the music or winding down the window. While you may feel momentarily more alert, this won’t have any lasting effect on your fatigue. If you’re driving a long way, try to get a good night’s sleep the day before and plan to stop every two hours for at least 15 minutes.