Non-prescriptive Fatigue Management Policy for Express Coach Drivers

This project assessed the impact of a number of work-related factors on coach drivers' well-being and performance using a survey completed by 108 drivers. A fatigue management training program based on realistic, difficult scenarios commonly faced by coach drivers was developed to assist drivers to develop more effective coping strategies. An evaluation was conducted after four weeks at which drivers reported positive reactions (self-efficacy and motivation), strong intentions, and high levels of critical in-training, transfer enhancing activities that are regarded as precursors to successful transfer of training. A longer-term evaluation suggested that the training course and the situational exercises were relevant, but that the training course needed to include additional information about managing fatigue, and issues such as improving communication between management and drivers.

Manage Study of Crashed Vehicles Equipped with Airbags

Australian Design Rule (ADR) 69 called for all new passenger cars to comply with a dynamic full frontal barrier crash test requirement, similar to US safety standard FMVSS 208 but with restrained test dummies. This study set out to evaluate how effective ADR 69 has been at preventing injuries and Harm to passenger car occupants in Australia since its introduction.

A case-control study of real-world crashed vehicles equipped with and without Supplementary Restraint Systems was conducted. Data included 253 drivers in airbag-equipped vehicles and 130 drivers in non-airbag vehicles, involved in a frontal collision. The analysis revealed reductions in the numbers of injuries to the head, face, chest and neck in the airbag-equipped vehicles although the numbers of upper extremity injuries increased. At higher injury severities (AIS2+) reductions were also observed in injuries to the head, face, neck and chest. Further analysis using Harm as an outcome measure found that the mean Harm per driver (in terms of $AUD) was 60% greater in the non-airbag vehicles compared with the airbag-equipped vehicles. The main conclusion from the study was that the results offer a strong indication that the Australian Design Rule (ADR) 69 requirement has been successful in addressing some of the outstanding issues that remain for injury prevention for drivers involved in frontal impacts.

Heavy Vehicle Seat Vibration

Past research has associated whole-body vibration exposure with a number of adverse effects on the human body. The effects of vibration on the lower back and spine have been extensively researched and documented. Effects on the gastrointestinal system have received less attention but are considered by some to be significant.

The following points summarise the findings of the literature review:

* There is some laboratory and field research that supports a relationship between low frequency vibration (3 Hz) and increased fatigue or drowsiness. This may have implications for heavy vehicle truck drivers who usually experience vibration levels around this frequency while driving.
* Intermittent and random vibration can have a stimulating or wakening effect.
* Vibration exposure has been found to cause changes to body metabolism and chemistry that could lead to fatigue effects.
* The health effects of whole-body vibration have been extensively researched and adverse effects have been established. Truck drivers shown many of the symptoms of adverse health effects associated with whole-body vibration exposure.
* Typical whole-body vibration exposure levels of heavy vehicle drivers are in the range 0.4 - 2.0 m/s2 with a mean value of 0.7 m/s2 in the vertical (z-axis). Vertical vibration is highest in the frequency range 2 – 4 Hz.
* The average whole-body vibration level experienced by drivers of heavy transport vehicles exceed health, fatigue and comfort limits of the Australian Standard and most exposures are within the Caution zone (for health) according to the current International Standard. Many typical exposures will reach the likely health risk zone of the International Standard. According to these standards, many truck drivers are at risk of incurring adverse health effects from prolonged exposure to vibration.
* There is evidence that truck drivers have back complaints that could be partly attributable to whole-body vibration exposure.
* Comfort limits of both Australian and International Standards are exceeded by most vehicle rides.

Driving Performance Related Transport Tasks

The study was conducted as a double blind, placebo controlled, four-way cross over study. To assess the psychomotor effects of the administered drugs, the participants were required to perform the critical flicker fusion frequency task (CFF), choice reaction time task (CRT), Bond- Lader visual analogue scale of mood (VASM) and the digit-symbol substitution test (DSST). A significant effect between condition and time for CRT (F(3)= 7.918, p<0.001),>

International road safety comparisons

The International Road Safety Comparisons report presents detailed tables of road death rates for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations and Australian states/territories. These rates allow Australias road safety performance to be compared with other OECD nations while taking into account the differing levels of population, motorisation and distances travelled.