Driver Fatigue & the Benefits of Using an Electronic Work Diary

Electronic Work Diary

Australia’s transport industry is one of the safest in the world, and an Electronic Work Diary contributes to that. According to data from the National Truck Accident Research Centre (NTARC), the rate of fatalities among truck drivers on Australia’s roads has declined. From 1.4 deaths per billion tonne-kilometres to 0.9 in the past decade.

That’s a 36 per cent reduction, which means that fatigue-related truck crashes are at their lowest recorded level. A big part of that concerns the strict regulatory environment in which truck drivers operate. Australian policy aims to put safety first, and it’s working, but a side effect of that regulation is paperwork.

However, that, too, is changing. As of December 2020, truck drivers have been able to use an Electronic Work Diary as a vehicle fleet management software alternative to the manual logbooks that were previously required.

“This announcement will cut this red tape enabling drivers to record their work and rest hours by simply pressing a button, rather than spending time ruling lines and counting multiple periods on multiple pieces of paper,” the then-deputy PM and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Development, Michael McCormack said at the time.

What is an Electronic Work Diary, and why is it beneficial to drivers?

All drivers need to do is input the data of their workloads via a touchscreen display. Which is directly registered and stored on the cloud.

It means that drivers are more productive in their work. Still, there are additional benefits that the Electronic Work Diary provides that take it beyond a manual recording system. For example:

  • Electronic Work Diaries facilitate real-time monitoring of fatigue. Because these solutions operate in real-time, they can also monitor when a truck driver should be resting or preparing for a break. Drivers losing track of time due to fatigue is one of the significant risks of fatigue. So having the support of a system that keeps track of that for them is a substantial safety boost.
  • Long-term data management. Because the records are kept digitally, it is easy to pull historical data to look at long-term behavioural trends. This information can be provided as feedback or to assist in training and developing safer driving practices.
  • Maintain better transparency with compliance. Because the data is securely and automatically logged, processed, and stored. The Electronic Work Diary introduces transparency into the logging system of the overall company. As a result, if wanted or otherwise asked to produce this information, the company can do so quickly and with complete transparency.
  • It is fully functional anywhere in Australia. Can a driver log hours while remote and outside the signal range? The Electronic Work Diary unit will securely store the data locally and automatically upload it once the driver has returned to an area where a connection can be made. There is no risk of lost or corrupted data. 

Do you need an EWD system for your fleet?

Utilising an Electronic Work Diary is a voluntary system. However, the benefits of adopting them to record driver hours are significant to both driver and employer, which means the technology offers a compelling ROI. Furthermore, the technology demonstrates that it helps protect lives on the road and provides better data for compliance purposes. It will likely become standardised and mandatory.

Adopting an Electronic Work Diary system isn’t onerous and doesn’t require an expensive transformation across the fleet. Talk to the team at Netstar to learn more about vehicle fleet management software and discuss what would be involved in rolling a solution out across your fleet.

Contact us today for more information.