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10th Annual Academic Lecture – Driver Fatigue


The Road Safety Authority held their tenth Annual Academic Lecture, marking the first day of ‘Irish Road Safety Week’ which will run to Sunday 11 October. This year’s lecture focused on ‘Driver Fatigue’ and over 200 road safety stakeholders attended the online webinar.

The results of a major international study conducted in 2018, called the E-Survey of Road Users’ Attitudes (ESRA), which were presented at the online lecture, showed that a quarter of drivers in Ireland (23.9%) said they had driven at least once, over the previous month, when they were so tired that they had trouble keeping their eyes open. This is higher than the European average (20% of drivers).

A similar national study of Driver Attitudes & Behaviour, conducted in Ireland by the RSA last year, further demonstrated that driver fatigue is a major problem on Ireland’s roads, as 16% of the 1,000 motorists surveyed confirmed the more serious fact that they had ever fallen asleep or nodded off while driving.

Studies have shown that the groups most at risk from driver fatigue are young men, people working night shifts, those who drive for a living such as truck and taxi drivers, and people with sleep disorders, such as sleep apnoea.

The RSA’s Annual Academic Road Safety Lecture, heard insights on the subject of driver fatigue from international and national experts, including:

Walter McNicholas MD, FRCPI, FRCPC, FERS is a Consultant in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital Group, Dublin, and Newman Clinical Research Professor at UCD. He is a UCD graduate and undertook his postgraduate training at the University of Toronto.

A copy of Professor McNicholas presentation can be downloaded here

Dr Charles Goldenbeld is a senior researcher for the Dutch Road Safety Institute SWOV. SWOV is an independent research institute that aims to make traffic safer by providing scientific evidence on road safety issues.

A copy of Dr Goldenbeld presentation can be downloaded here

Dr Ashleigh Filtness is a Senior Lecturer of Human Factors in Transport Safety in the Transport Safety Research Centre based in the School of Design and Creative Arts at Loughborough University.

A copy of Dr Filtness presentation can be downloaded here.

A detailed agenda including the speakers biographies and abstracts can be downloaded here.

Presentation video