#EyesUpNZ Roadshow Launches

In Better Business, February 20235 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineFebruary 10, 2023

AutoSense has launched a national roadshow to educate drivers about fatigue and distraction. Hosted by motorsport champion Greg Murphy, neuroscience educator Nathan Wallis and road safety expert Kelly McLuckie, it promises to put a new spin on improving driver safety.

The frequency of sleep events while driving is increasing, with a verified 125 fatigue sleeping- while-driving incidences a day, according to the data provided by 4600 AutoSense Guardian Seeing Machine cameras installed in heavy and light vehicles.

AutoSense CEO Charles Dawson says these are events where the driver’s eyes are closed for 1.5 seconds or more. “The data is worrying. These fatigue events were recorded from September to November 2022. Alarmingly, they are up 32% on the previous year.” Dawson says the Guardian cameras are recording two peak daily fatigue times: 5am and 11am.

Likewise, incidents of distraction are increasing, with the data showing at least 134 verified mobile phone events per day. “These mobile distraction events increased by almost 20% from September to November 2022,” says Dawson.

“We want to educate drivers on what is causing fatigue and distraction and how they can do something about it. We thought about how to get to drivers and came up with the concept of speaking to the people who interact with those drivers and look after their world – the line managers, dispatchers, etc – and enabling them to get those resources back out to the drivers.”

Four 3.5-hour #EyesUpNZ workshops will be conducted around the country, beginning on 14 March in Auckland and ending on 17 May in Christchurch. Kelly McLuckie from Success Formula will facilitate the sessions.

“The sessions target anyone running toolboxes or managing drivers daily who needs to be armed with information and the skills to share it with the drivers in an engaging way.

“One of the issues in transport and logistics is people are rarely taught how to communicate. We’re going to run through tips on how to communicate well, run good meetings and get messages across. We’re going to get really practical, and attendees will walk away with a plan on how to share the information they received confidently.”

Nathan Wallis and Greg Murphy will discuss the impacts of fatigue, sleep, distraction and how the brain works and provide tips on helping with driving- related safety problems in workplaces.

“Fatigue and distraction affect everybody. Understanding the brain is key to helping to change that,” Wallis says.

“The scary thing about fatigue is that by the time you’re aware you’re starting to nod off, you’ve already had several microsleeps you’re not aware of.

“You can’t really turn off distraction because the brain is primed to look for hings for survival. But when it’s not critical to survival, you need to train yourself to ignore it. You consciously have to decide to pull away from the distraction. You can’t look in two places at once,” Wallis explains.

“‘Drive safe’ is a phrase thrown out there, but you need to be taught and trained properly to go out and drive safely. There are improvements we can make constantly, areas that can be completely rebuilt and designed to ensure generations to follow are safe on our roads,” Murphy adds.

“It’s about providing the info in layman’s terms and in a way that’s incredibly interesting, makes sense and is relatable.”

There will also be a young driver component – driving and the teenage brain. “We want to support young drivers and their parents who are supporting them through the driving process to have a different way of looking at it and understanding how the brain works,” says Murphy.

“We hope the roadshow will have a lasting impression, reduce the number of these events we’re seeing per day, and most importantly, reduce the number of crashes on the roads,” Dawson says.

For more details and tickets to attend the #EyesUpNZ driver safety workshops ($199+GST) visit eyesupnz.co.nz