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Driving tired

Please note: Due to COVID-19 there are caravan and camping restrictions in place, find out more.

An image of a man yawning while driving a carFrom 2004 to 2010, almost one in seven fatalities were as a result of fatigue related crashes within Queensland.

It is important to recognise the warning signs of fatigue and take appropriate action. If you know you'll be tired, plan ahead and arrange alternative transport. Being awake for more than 16 hours is similar to having drunk more than two standard drinks (and having a blood alcohol content of more than 0.05). So don't put yourself at risk.

Warning signs of tiredness

Warning signs include:

  • yawning
  • sore or heavy eyes
  • dim or fuzzy vision
  • you start 'seeing' things
  • droning and humming in ears
  • general tiredness
  • stiffness and cramps
  • aches and pains
  • day dreaming
  • delayed reaction times
  • unintentional increases or decreases in speed
  • fumbling for gear changes
  • car wandering across the road.

The driver reviver program aims to reduce the effects of driving tired by encouraging motorists to 'STOP REVIVE SURVIVE'.

View the driver reviver timetable.

Tips to avoid driving tired

Before driving:

  • get plenty of sleep
  • plan ahead – work out rest stops and overnight stops
  • avoid alcohol
  • check medications with your doctor and make sure they won't make you drowsy
  • eat sensibly – not too little, not too much

When driving:

  • take regular breaks – you should stop for at least 15 minutes every two hours
  • share the driving if you can
  • use rest areas, tourist spots and driver reviver stops
  • stop and rest as soon as you feel tired
  • never drive for more than 10 hours in a single day
  • get plenty of fresh air

Rest areas

  • Rest areas are there for you to stop and rest, making your trip safer and more enjoyable.
  • Rest areas are not long-term camping sites. However motorists are able to take extended rest breaks at some sites.
  • Rules on the length of stay at rest areas vary between controlling authorities. You can stay up to 20 hours, including overnight, at some rest areas.

Heavy vehicle rest areas

Heavy vehicle rest areas are only for heavy vehicles. This does not include caravans; they are for truck drivers only.

Audible edge lining

Audible edge lining has been introduced to reduce crashes caused by driving tired. These edge lines, which cause vibration of the car when crossed, alert drivers when their car begins to veer off the road.

Last updated
28 April 2020