Driver fatigue is an important contributor to fatal and serious injury road crashes in New Zealand. It has been acknowledged internationally for a number of years, and the issue is becoming increasingly prominent in New Zealand.
It is important to recognise that driver fatigue is a complex condition. It can be difficult to identify and recognise its role in crashes. Research suggests that in New Zealand driver fatigue as a contributing factor may be under-represented in the reported crash system. Without an admission from the driver concerned, or other clear evidence, it is difficult to determine the incidence of driver fatigue during a crash investigation.
The government is working to address driver fatigue through Safer Journeys New Zealand's Road Safety Strategy 2010-2020.
Safer Journeys has identified reducing the impact of fatigue, along with addressing distraction, as areas of medium concern for road safety. You can find out more about Safer Journeys and its actions for reducing the impact of fatigue and driver distraction by visiting the Safer Journeys' website (external link) .