How do I manage driver fatigue whilst delivering?

  • Updated

Sherpa strongly encourages drivers to assess their physical and mental competency before accepting deliveries, especially in relation to driver fatigue. Driver fatigue is mental or physical tiredness that affects a person’s ability to function. It may impair performance by reducing attentiveness, slowing reaction times, affecting judgement and reducing performance on skilled control tasks. Being awake for 17 hours or more is estimated to cause a similar level of impairment to a .05 blood alcohol content. 


Therefore Sherpa encourages drivers to:   

  • Take regular breaks; 
  • Don’t work more than 10 consecutive hours within a 24-hour time frame;
  • Maintain healthy sleeping habits;
  • Stretch and walk at least every 4 hours.

All the aforementioned principles under “fitness to drive” are implemented in the driver’s onboarding manual.


Watch out for the early warning sings:

  1. Yawning;
  2. Poor concentration;
  3. Sore/tired eyes;
  4. Restlessness;
  5. Drowsiness;
  6. Slow reactions;
  7. Boredom;
  8. Oversteering.

If you are experiencing any of the warning signs above while driving:

  • Pull over for a break (a 20-min nap works best);
  • Stop for a coffee, although the effects of caffeine won't help for long and won't work for everyone. Caffeine is not suitable for some people and can be harmful;
  • Even if you don't feel tired, take regular breaks to avoid of becoming tired.

For more information, please check your State or Territory's road agency for more tips. 


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