Long-haul truck drivers pose greater accident risk: study

By: Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi


Truck drivers working through the night are at an equal risk of an accident as a drink-driver, a study has found.

Long-haul truck drivers pose greater accident risk: study
Truck drivers in New South Wales and Western Australia participated in the study.

 

Long-haul drivers who work late nights are three times more likely to get into an accident, according to a recent study.

The study which, was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology by Monash University researchers, has found that those who work midnight-to-dawn hours with few breaks are equally at risk of an accident as mid-range drink-drivers.

Long-distance drivers who drive for more than three hours a night can make the same errors as those driving with a blood alcohol reading of 0.08.

Those without anti-lock braking systems and cruise control are also more at risk of a crash, according to the study.

"Lack of cruise control was tied to 64 per cent higher risk," Professor Mark Stevenson says.

"Also travelling with an empty load in an articulated truck was associated with an almost two-fold increase in having a crash."

Truck drivers at rest stops in New South Wales and Western Australia participated in the study, answering questions on sleep, driving and lifestyle habits.

They also wore a sleep monitor for a night.

Those who had been involved in a crash were more likely to use caffeinated drinks to stay awake and had less than 10 years’ driving experience.

Police in both states had notified the research team of 895 crashes recorded during a period of which more than half of those drivers participated in the study.

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