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Fatigued Driving - First Research Priority

The priority research topic for the inaugural cycle of the AAA Road Safety Research Program is fatigued driving.

Fatigue is a major cause of road crashes, related injuries and fatalities worldwide. It is believed that 20 to 30 per cent of all car crashes in Australia are attributable to fatigue.

Research indicates that the need for drivers and transport managers to understand and tackle fatigued driving is greater than ever.

Fatigue is a more complex concept than just being ‘sleepy’. While the effects of sleep (or lack of it) are a key component, fatigue is a more broader phenomenon that can be influenced by a person’s rest and sleep habits and cycles, their physiological and psychological traits, as well as their environmental conditions.

Fatigue can reduce attentiveness, slow a driver’s reaction times and affect judgement – all of which can result in catastrophic consequences. In fact, research has shown after 17-19 hours without sleep, driver performance is equivalent to or worse than having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.05 per cent. If a driver falls asleep for just four seconds while travelling at 100 km/h, the car will have travelled 111 metres without driver control.

Fatigued driving is a major challenge for road safety. Fatigue can affect all types and levels of drivers and fatigue-related crashes can happen on any trip – no matter how long or short the trip is or what time of day it is. The AAA Road Safety Research Program will use quality, applied research activities to better understand fatigued driving and develop effective ways to address this problem.

Fatigued Driving Research Forum

The inaugural stakeholder forum was attended by industry, state and federal government, emergency services, road safety experts and academics in Sydney on the 25th of November 2019. The forum enabled participants to have in-depth discussions and form collaborations which resulted in the development of several well considered areas for research into fatigued driving.

View a full summary of the Forum findings.

The forum focused on five key research themes that had emerged from the extensive AAA stakeholder consultations held earlier and comprise:

  • legal and regulatory frameworks
  • human factors
  • vehicles
  • technology and infrastructure
  • data and meta-analysis.

Current Research Opportunities

Currently, the AAA has an open Request for Proposal  to conduct a research project to evaluate, validate and compare fatigued driving monitoring systems. This major research project aims to evaluate, validate and compare the capabilities of fatigued driver monitoring technologies (current and emerging systems) to detect and warn drivers of fatigue, and the driver responses to associated warnings / alerts. The project will be conducted in two phases: the first being a feasibility study which is to be finalised and submitted by 12th October 2020 (this deadline is non-negotiable). The second main project phase is anticipated to begin in early 2021 (subject to the outcomes of the feasibility study and final approval by the AAA Board).

The AAA is inviting proposals from researchers with extensive experience in this field. Project proposals should be sent to [email protected] and must be received by 5pm (AEST) 28th April 2020.

The AAA is hosting an information session for interested parties on Tuesday 21st April 2020 at 1pm (AEST) via video conference. The information session will focus on working with the AAA, our expectations, contracting, reporting requirements, and will provide an opportunity for interested parties to clarify any aspect of this Request for Proposal. (Please contact the National Program Manager at [email protected] if you would like to attend.)

Please click here to download the RFP Documentation.




AAA RSRP EOI – Fatigued Driving Literature Review of fatigued driving research and assessment of the policy landscape. Closed:  9am (AEDT) 6th of April 2020.