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.’’
After months of speculation, Yarrawonga’s Alan Williams has been endorsed as the Labor candidate for Murray contesting the July 2 Federal Election.
Three Yarrawonga footballers have excelled at interleague level, representing the Ovens and Murray against Hampden in Warrnambool on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
ICE forums in Tongala and Stanhope will help tackle the drug scourge in the communities.
CONSTRUCTION of Rochester’s gym is well into the swing of things, with concrete walls erected early last week.
Kyabram Football Club will host a family day next weekend.
Where there’s a Will, there’s a way
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
RENEWAL works have resumed on the Coliban Main Channel this month.
For most 10-year-olds, mischievous isn’t a word often found in their vocabulary, let alone having the ability to spell it correctly. But for Cobram Anglican Grammar Year 5 student Cadence Pang, it’s all in a day’s work.
Plans for the release of a carp herpes virus has captured the attention of international press.
Farmers from northern Victoria will join a protest rally over milk prices in Melbourne tomorrow, Wednesday.
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