A QUT study has found that young drivers don’t appreciate many of the causes of dangerous driving.

Few, for example, understood that driving while tired can be just as harmful as drink driving.

Vincent Roche reports.


Fatigue is a major danger behind the wheel, identified as one of the main causes of road fatalities along with speed and drink driving.

But QUT researchers have found that while young drivers recognised the risks of driving drunk, they weren’t aware of the dangers of driving while drowsy.

The state’s peak motoring body is disturbed by the report.

Renee Smith, RACQ Spokesperson: “Driving while tired is very dangerous. Fatigue is one of the fatal 5, and it is for a reason. We really urge young drivers do not take the risk, you’ll be risking your life and the lives of others by driving tired.”

Drowsiness can significantly impair the driver’s ability.

Being awake for 17-hours is equivalent to having a 0.05 blood alcohol reading.

Vox pop 1: “Yeah, but then sometimes it’s like your out and you’ve got your car, so what else can you do but drive?”

Vox pop 2: “After looking into it more it’s sort of pretty dangerous, seeing the effects and what’s happened with it all. It’s pretty important.”

Vox Pop 3: “Because I can’t function when I’m tired and I don’t drink coffee, so I have to have a sleep.”

The research shows that 20% of the state’s fatal car accidents have occurred due to drink driving, and more than 15% were caused by fatigue.

But the figure might be higher.

Unlike drink-driving accidents, those caused by drowsiness are harder to determine.

Vincent Roche, QUT News.