Driver Fatigue Seen as Major Cause of Hume Hwy Truck Accidents

Photo: SafetyCulture Library

There has been a marked increase in truck accidents on the Hume Hwy that runs between Melbourne and Sydney and there are indicators that are pointing to driver fatigue rather than other causes.

According to an ABC report a senior sergeant at Seymour Police Station is asking for additional resources to deal with driver fatigue following nine truck accidents recently in North East Victoria on the Hume with seven over a ten day period.

The Police work alongside VicRoads to make sure that trucking regulations are followed and there are concerns that because most of the accidents are single vehicles leaving the road that it is fatigue that is the main factor.

The Director of VicRoads, Davide Shelton, also expressed concern and feels that it is essential to work alongside the transport operators to learn more about what is causing the accidents as they usually have a greater understanding of the circumstances that surround an accident.

He said that there are stringent regulations that decide how many hours a truck driver can operate without resting. These regulations point liability towards the people that are involved in the supply chain logistics.

The TWU (Transport Workers Union) is saying that it is usually the drivers not the transport operators that are penalised and blamed for breaching regulations.

In a study conducted by the TWU that questioned 200 drivers, 85% said that pressure from large customers was the primary cause of unsafe driving practices.

Over 50% admitted that vehicle maintenance was delayed so they could keep working and a third of those surveyed worked 60 hours a week and 5% worked over 100 hours.

According to the TWU drivers feel compelled to breach regulations to keep their jobs.

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