Driver fatigue can kill hunters

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It seems all to often we hear sad stories of hunters not making it home from hunting weekends due to driver fatigue. Some are lucky to walk away from the accidents but many are not.

I believe most hunters that travel good distances have experienced driving fatigue at some stage. I have personally and now make sure that I rest appropriately even if I am just a short distance from home. I try and end my trips in the morning so I am traveling in daylight hours. 

We should all make ourselves aware of the tell tale signs and be extremely diligent when doing the long trips.

Ben Walker from the Central Western Daily reports seven lives have been lost on one particularly notorious stretch of Central West road since 2009.

The Mitchell Highway between Trangie and Nevertire has become a noted black spot, with 13 crashes reported in that same eight-year period.

The most recent of those came earlier this month when a single-vehicle accident claimed the life of teenager Jake Fardell on the way home from a hunting trip.

Orana Local Area Command’s Acting Superintendent Scott Tanner said "Money has recently been allocated by the state government to upgrade safety features along the highway, but the statistics have also forced the hand of police to turn their attention to driver fatigue, especially among those who like to head west on excursions to hunt wild animals". 

“Fatigue is playing a major role in these accidents, which are commonly occurring in fine conditions but early in the morning.

“People are heading out on their hunting trips, and when they’ve had enough they hop in their utes and drive home.

“But they’re doing so after being awake for 20-24 hours and the body just isn’t designed to do that.

“Your family will forgive you if you are late home, your boss will forgive you if you’re late for work, but the anguish that comes from these fatalities is lifelong.

“Having a can of Red Bull and thinking you can make it, or speeding up to try and get home quicker, just doesn’t work.”

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