In order to reduce the number of fatigue related accidents and to identify
countermeasures that will be widely accepted by the drivers, it is necessary
to consider the drivers' point of view. Understanding the drivers'
experiences and conception of the dangers due to driver fatigue is necessary
when trying to find effective actions that stand a good chance of being
accepted by the drivers. The main objective of this study was to increase
knowledge about what information drivers need to: - recognise the feeling of
being fatigued; - realise the danger of driving while fatigued; - encourage
fatigued drivers to take a break. A questionnaire was constructed on the
basis of three discussions with focus groups; one with young drivers, one
with professional drivers and one with commuters, and sent out to a random
sample of 3,000 car owners in Sweden. The questionnaires were distributed
during the winter 2002/2003. The response rate was approximately 62 percent.
The results indicated that the drivers were aware of the sensation of
fatigue. Furthermore, the results indicated that drivers underestimated the
risk of driving fatigue and overestimated their own ability to manage the
situation. The use of countermeasures differed between the driver groups.
Young drivers seem to have a lack of knowledge concerning lasting
countermeasures. They turned on the radio or increased the volume of the
radio or asked passengers to talk with them. Older drivers seem to be more in
favour of taking a break for a nap. Among the respondents, 55 drivers
reported that they had been involved in at least one fatigue related accident
during the last ten years. The difference between drivers who had been
involved in a fatigue related accident and those who had not, indicated e.g.
that those involved in accidents rated their capability of fighting fatigue
while driving lower than the others.
Linköping: Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut., VTI rapport 498 , 2004.