Factors Associated with Fatigued Driving among Australian Truck Drivers: A Cross-Sectional Study

Xinyi Ren, Elizabeth Pritchard, Caryn van Vreden, Sharon Newnam, Ross Iles, Ting Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Fatigued driving is one of the leading factors contributing to road crashes in the trucking industry. The nature of trucking, prolonged working time, and irregular sleep patterns can negatively impact drivers’ health and wellbeing. However, there is limited research in Australia investigating the impact of demographic, occupational, or lifestyle factors on fatigue among truck drivers. Objective: This cross-sectional study examines the role of demographic, occupational, lifestyle, and other health risk factors associated with fatigue among Australian truck drivers. Method: This study was part of a larger study that used a short online survey with a follow-up telephone survey to capture in-depth information on a wide range of determinants related to truck drivers’ physical and mental health outcomes. Fatigue was measured by three questions, including the frequency of fatigue, fatigue management training, and strategies used to combat fatigue. Multivariate regression analysis was used to determine the specific impact of demographics, occupational factors, lifestyle factors, and other health risk factors on fatigue. Results: In total, 332 drivers completed both the online and telephone surveys; 97% were male, representing drivers from broad age groups and professional experience. The odds of being in the high-risk fatigue group were nearly three times higher in drivers who worked 40–60 h compared to those who worked < 40 h. Poor sleep increased the odds of high-risk fatigue by seventimes (95% CI: 2.26–21.67, p = 0.001). Drivers who reported experiencing loneliness also had double the odds of being at high risk of fatigued driving. Conclusions: The increased risk of fatigue in truck drivers is associated with prolonged working hours, poor sleep, and social aspects such as loneliness. Further interventions seeking to reduce driver fatigue should consider the impact of work schedules, the availability of quality sleeping spaces, and the level of social connections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2732
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • fatigue
  • fatigue driving
  • heavy vehicle drivers
  • occupational risk factors
  • truck drivers

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