The New Zealand government is seeking to reduce the number of road crashes that arise from driver fatigue in this country. To this end, Land Transport New Zealand commissioned a review of international driver fatigue literature (2000–2007) to assess measures against driver fatigue that would be effective for general public drivers. The review first notes that a number of disciplines study driver fatigue, each using its own definitions and so emphasising different measures. This constrains the development of measures and longer-term programmes for the general public. The review thus notes the need for evidence-based theory specific to general-public driver fatigue. This would enable clearer understanding and facilitate the design, management and evaluation of programmes.
This review distinguishes between fatigue from weariness through driving (acute fatigue) and fatigue from prior sleep deprivation (chronic fatigue). It also distinguishes between interventions (measures used prior to driving) and countermeasures (measures used during driving).
It then links specific fatigue problems (acute or chronic), as experienced by specific driver groups, to the most effective measures against them (interventions or countermeasures) for that driver group.
Finally, it suggests a guideline for best practice in the design of measures and programmes to counter driver fatigue within the general public.