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Electronic Work Diary Combats Driver Fatigue the Silent Killer on our Roads

An Australian survey of long distance truck drivers found that in a 12-month period almost half had “nodded off” while driving. One in five reported a “dangerous” fatigue-related event where they had “nodded-off”, unintentionally crossed lanes or had a near miss during their last trip.

These frightening results confirm the magnitude of the problem facing the Transport industry and imply that road accident statistics only tell us part of the story. There are in fact many other occasions where fatigue may lead directly or indirectly to a catastrophic accident. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau who completed this survey also found that awareness is no guarantee that fatigue was being better managed

It also found transport companies and drivers had divergent views when it came to handling the problem. While only a fifth of the 200 randomly selected transport managers thought fatigue was being badly managed, half the drivers surveyed believed there was a problem.

So how does the Transport industry tackle this problem and what more can be done to improve the situation?

Up until now the solutions available have been cumbersome and difficult to implement relying on drivers to log their hours and monitor their own rest breaks. However this process was always at risk of individual error and open to the falsifying of driver records. To overcome this issue and to remove any chance of human error Ezy2c have developed an easy to use, inexpensive solution to driver fatigue – which is proven to save lives.

The Ezy2c Driver Fatigue Solution / Electronic Work Diary (EWD) utilises a touch screen, in cabin, Driver Console Unit / Onboard Computer (DCU) which calculates drivers hours / rest stops and alerts drivers and fleet managers back in the office in real time. The real time reports and alerts will show when a driver is approaching his rest period, how long he needs to rest for and sends alerts when drivers have exceeded their driving time. This takes the guesswork and manual processing out of the equation. It is a digital record based on the vehicles running time and therefore is not subject to the potential pitfalls of manual diary systems including human error or falsifying records.

Focus has been placed on ease of use for drivers and intuitive reporting functionality for head office. Fleet & Logistics Managers are now in full control of their drivers working hours and can manage their OHS responsibilities effectively. The solution includes a number of other useful tools for drivers and fleet operators including; navigation, routing, speed alerts, geofence alerts, demurrage reports, trip reports, SOS pendants etc.

Using electronic work diaries to comply with fatigue management laws in Australia’s heavy vehicle industry could improve road safety, boost efficiency and reduce red tape, according to a draft policy paper released by the National Transport Commission (NTC).

With fatigue and speed among the major contributing factors of heavy vehicle crashes in Australia, NTC Senior Manager Dr Jeff Potter said technologies that allow operators to manage risks as they happen would have wide-spread safety benefits for industry, government and the community.

The Ezy2c EWD is already being put through its paces by some of Australia’s largest and well-known transport companies and brands. Herb Blanchard Haulage, CEO Robert Blanchard had this to say “The EWD will enable our team to monitor and stay on top of our driver fatigue responsibilities with complete accuracy and run real time reports. This is crucial for us at head office to see where our drivers are and to give me ‘peace of mind’ that our drivers are having the required level of rest between shifts. The level of features and additional tools this solution offers us, ensures we can pull off a number of reports in real time, this level of insight helps us to continue to provide a superior level of service to our customers.”

Ezy2c is a specialist transport technology company based in the trucking hub of Grafton NSW where their in house R&D team have over 10 years experience and knowledge in building mobile resource management tools for the transport sector. Ezy2c, CEO Evan Penn commented on the positive response to the EWD from the transport industry. “We are proud to have delivered a robust and inexpensive solution that has been proven to save lives and assist our clients in effectively managing their OHS responsibilities. The tremendous feedback we have received confirms to us that the Electronic Work Diary will have a profound and lasting impact in the transport sector by preventing driver fatigue and placing the control of driver’s hours back with management. The results of our testing and the success our clients have seen when using the EWD suggest to us that this is not only the right solution for the transport industry but the only solution for fatigue management!”