Combating fatigue is a major focus for transport operators and the transport industry. However, much of our response is about compliance with safety regulations. Is it time to reframe the issue, and instead focus on preventing fatigue by addressing its cause?
Whether we choose to take notice or not, we all know the importance of exercise and good nutrition to our health. The third pillar of strong physical and mental wellbeing, according to internationally renowned expert Dr Carmel Harrington, is sleep.
Sleep is critically important to short- and long-term health. In the short term, inadequate sleep increases your chances of succumbing to illness, such as flu infections. In the long term, it increases the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity and can shorten life expectancy.
As well as being linked to poor mental health and depression and affecting our mood, lack of sleep also has a potentially serious impact on safety in the workplace and on the road, with chronic sleep deprivation associated with slower thought processes, more errors and poor judgement and memory.
People with poor sleep are between two and seven times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident, with around one in five accidents attributable to fatigue and daytime sleepiness.