Driving Change: Tackling Fatigue in Young Drivers for a Safer Workplace

Ready to explore the latest scientific insights on fatigue and its potential to transform our approach to this issue? In our examination of fatigue-related accidents, it’s evident that a significant portion involves young drivers, prompting the European Union to initiate in-depth studies. Moreover, a recent survey by the National Sleep Foundation in the US revealed that 1 in 6 teens are driving while drowsy. Astonishingly, many of the surveyed teens perceive drowsy driving as less hazardous than drunk or distracted driving.

Executive Insight: Are Young Drivers More Prone to Driving Fatigue With Monotonous Driving?

Picture this: a question that challenges conventional wisdom. Do young drivers, aged 20 to 35, experience more sleepiness and decreased alertness during monotonous driving than their middle-aged counterparts, aged 45 to 60? Prepare to be amazed because the answer is a resounding YES!

Uncover the Backstory

Statistics reveal a startling trend – younger professional drivers face a higher risk of accidents compared to their older counterparts. And here’s the twist: many of these accidents are closely linked to increased sleepiness levels. Recent scientific breakthroughs have unveiled this surprising truth: young professional drivers are more prone to losing alertness in monotonous driving conditions than their middle-aged peers. They even have a stronger inclination to nod off during monotonous night time drives.

Two comprehensive studies, where all participants were medically evaluated and shared similar sleep histories, led us to this eye-opening conclusion.

The Revelations

Younger drivers grapple more with staying alert in low-traffic situations compared to their older counterparts. When the sun sets and the road ahead turns monotonous, they are more likely to battle sleepiness. However, it’s important to note that older drivers also struggle more with night time fatigue in general than with day time driving.

In heavy traffic, the fatigue levels between the two age groups tend to equalize. To sum it up, monotonous driving poses a more significant fatigue challenge for young drivers than their older counterparts, with sleepiness reaching its peak among the younger generation during night time drives.

So, why do younger drivers find themselves in the high-risk category? This is not defined in the study, though a theory is this may be due to the experience of the older drivers. Other studies have shown that the younger generation’s lifestyle is generally more prone to sleep debt which could also be a reason for this outcome.

Actionable Steps for Change

1️⃣ Young drivers deserve extra vigilance during those long-haul road transport or mining haul truck journeys with low traffic and monotony.

2️⃣ Configure shift schedules to favour older drivers during monotonous night driving.

3️⃣ Recognizing that time is precious, let’s intensify fatigue training and feedback for our younger drivers compared to their seasoned peers.  


Join us as we unlock the secrets of fatigue management and make our roads safer for everyone, and be sure to reach out to find out more about our on-site and online fatigue training services.




📖 “Sleepiness in professional drivers: Effect of age and time of day” – Alain Muzet, Sarah Otmani, Joceline Roge. (Accident Analysis and Prevention 27, 2005, pages 930-937) 📖 “Wakefulness in young and elderly subjects driving at night in a car simulator” – Arne Lowden, Anna Anund, Goran Keckland, Bjorn Peters, Torbjorn Akerstedt. (Accident Analysis and Prevention 41, 2009, pages 1001 – 1007)


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