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Fatigue is a physiological condition that can occur long before you fall asleep at the wheel. It has a negative impact on your reaction time, your ability to concentrate and your general understanding of the road and traffic around you. There are 3 main causes of fatigue.
Research shows that fatigue is difficult to identify and recognise as having a role in a crash (Williamson and Chamberlain, 2005), so the contribution of fatigue to crashes may be under-represented in the police-reported crash system that has been used for this factsheet.
Find additional information on the causes of fatigue and how to prevent them in Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency's Fatigue factsheet and in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA — United States Department of Transport) factsheet.