Fatigue was a growing concern for police, according to Campaspe Highway Patrol officers.TRENT HORNEMAN July 11, 2014 3:38am
Fatigue has been the cause of two serious accidents on the region’s roads in the past 48 hours.
A Cranbourne man died after falling asleep and hitting a tree near Toolleen yesterday, while a Fairley woman was lucky to escape unhurt after she also fell asleep and side-swiped a truck on the Murray Valley Hwy, east of Echuca, on Wednesday.
Sergeant Greg Watkins of Campaspe Highway Patrol said fatigue was a growing concern for police.
‘‘Our lives are increasingly busier, with social media and other distractions it is only getting worse,’’ he said.
‘‘From a policing point of view, the hard part is that we have no way of testing for fatigue.
‘‘Studies have shown that someone awake for 18 hours or more has the reaction times of someone with a blood-alcohol reading of 0.05.’’
While yesterday’s accident happened early morning, Sgt Watkins said it was not the most common time for a fatigue-related accident.
‘‘Statistically, the worst time for someone to fall asleep at the wheel is between noon and 2pm,’’ he said.
‘‘The car is usually warm and you have just eaten lunch, so it is natural for the body to want to go to sleep.’’
The Transport Accident Commission’s road safety project manager Elizabeth Waller said drowsy driving accounted for about one in five crashes on Victoria’s roads, making it a major cause of road trauma.
‘‘Many people believe that falling asleep at the wheel is an issue that only affects people on long trips,’’ she said.
‘‘This could not be further from the truth.
‘‘Drowsiness affects a driver’s safety by decreasing their reaction time, their ability to concentrate and creates the very real risk of falling asleep at the wheel.’’
Ms Waller said the TAC launched a campaign on drowsiness earlier this year.
‘‘The only solution is to get a good night’s sleep, and we know that an average healthy adult needs between seven and nine hours to function properly,’’ she said.
‘‘But if you are already on the road, a 15-minute powernap could make all the difference.’’
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The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
An ad for the Healthy Ageing Project will be filmed in Echuca, Rushworth and Rochester today.
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Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
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Murray Irrigation to search for new boss after Anthony Couroupis finishes with the company.
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