The National Road Safety Partnership Program (NRSPP) is proud to announce the release of its third organisational road safety campaign, “With My Eyes Closed…”, to help organisations actively reduce tired and fatigued driving on the nation’s roads.
This campaign provides any organisation with the ability to educate their workers on the importance of sleep, the risks of driver sleepiness, and methods to mitigate these risks.
Tired drivers are one of the major contributors to road trauma. Drivers who have slept for 4-5 hours in the past 24 hours are 4.5 times more likely to crash than drivers who have slept seven hours or more. The dangers are exacerbated by the common tendency to overlook these risks. Driving while impaired in other ways, such as by alcohol or by mobile phone distraction, is widely recognised to be dangerous and unacceptable.
However, we often do not acknowledge that tired driving can cause the same (if not worse) degree of impairment. Being awake for 17 hours can hinder driving performance similar to a BAC of 0.05. This increases to 0.15 if we are awake for 21 hours. Furthermore, unhealthy attitudes towards sleep encourage a culture where sleep is associated with inefficiency and weakness.
The NRSPP has identified this widespread issue to be one that needs to be tackled in order to make our roads safer.
“There definitely was a lot of material to create, with the challenge of establishing a brand identity for a wide audience,” says Caitlin Xavier, NRSPP Communications Lead, “But it was so rewarding to have it all come together in the end, and knowing that this is not only going to make our roads safer, but cultivate a better attitude towards our wellbeing.”
The development process has also brought in Olivia Dobson, Ayla Baydan and Sarah Lim, Summer Interns from Monash University, who performed the research gathering to provide strong grounds to inform the campaign.
“Working on the Driver Sleepiness Campaign was a fantastic experience on a personal and professional level,” Olivia reflects, “The research phase enriched my understanding of the biological and social determinants of driver sleepiness, followed by the invaluable opportunity to present this and learn from a panel of industry experts.”
Ayla agrees, saying that “it’s exciting to see theoretical research applied in a way that helps raise awareness about the importance of sleep.”
“It was an eye opening experience exploring the circadian rhythm and how our body regulates sleep,” says Sarah, “I hope this knowledge will go on to help more people understand their bodies from a different perspective, and allow them to better take care of themselves!”
With National Road Safety Week just ahead (on the 16th – 23rd May), we are releasing this campaign also as our contribution to the event. Keep an eye out on our social media channels, on which we will be running social posts from “With My Eyes Closed…”. The entire package, including fact sheets, posters and email banners, will also be available for free download on our website.
“This definitely has been our biggest campaign package so far,” says Jerome Carslake, NRSPP Director, “It’s been great to see the previous campaigns on Driver Distraction and Aggressive Driving tie in to this big topic of Driver Sleepiness. It just highlights how important this issue is on our roads.”
We would like to say a big thank you to all the parties who made this campaign possible:
- Caitlin Xavier, NRSPP Communications Lead, Graphic Designer Intern 2020/21: Campaign management and creative development lead
- Sarah Lim, Olivia Dobson & Ayla Baydan, NRSPP Interns 2021 from Monash University: Research and information gathering
- Tim Roberts, Executive Director at FleetStrategy: Creation of campaign videos
- Jerome Carslake, Director of the NRSPP: Guidance, peer-review and management
Research was peer-reviewed and guided by:
- Clare Anderson, Associate Professor of Sleep and Circadian Medicine and Human Performance, Monash University Turner Institute
- Shanthakumar Rajaratnam, Professor at Monash University and Chair of Sleep Health Foundation
This campaign was tested for practicality throughout its development by:
- Chris Dhu, Head of Fleet at Essential Energy
- Dwayne Duncum, Senior Health and Safety Consultant at Amalgamotion
- Anton Fouche, Managing Principal at ArmourPlus
- Andrea Speirs, District Support Coordinator at the Country Fire Authority (CFA)
- Brett Hoskin, Chair of the Road Accident Action Group (RAAG)
Occurring simultaneously with the release of this campaign is also Budget Direct’s release of their Fatigued driving and statistics 2021, highlighting some eye-opening findings and data.
To hear more about driver sleepiness, join our upcoming free webinar on this topic on the 18th May. Listen to expert advice from Clare Anderson, Associate Professor of Sleep and Circadian Medicine and Human Performance at the Monash University Turner Institute, and Amanda Stephens, Research Fellow and Monash University Accident Research Centre. Also hear from Caitlin Xavier, NRSPP Communications Lead, about her creative process in designing the campaign.
NRSPP is looking forward to watching this campaign being implemented in various organisations and changing our behaviour around driver sleepiness.
Download the campaign package for free here.