Sleep disorders

Driving while fatigued can increase your risk of a crash. Find out how to stay safe.

Having a sleep disorder can significantly impact your ability to drive safely. 

Common sleep disorders include:

  • sleep apnoea 
  • insomnia
  • narcolepsy.

You’re also at risk if you experience:

  • sleep deprivation
  • irregular sleeping patterns
  • interrupted sleep
  • drowsiness due to medication.

Find out more about sleep disorders on the Better Health Channel (External link)

How sleep disorders can affect your ability to drive safely

If you have a sleep disorder, you might experience extreme fatigue or sleepiness during the day. This could cause you to fall asleep unexpectedly during the day, increasing your risk of crashing. 

Sleep deprivation can also affect your driving performance, including your:

  • alertness
  • attention span
  • reaction times
  • judgment.

To find out more about how your driving can be affected by sleep apnoea view the Sleep apnoea and driving information update [PDF 84Kb] 

What you need to do

Do not drive if you’re tired or fatigued. If you’re experiencing disruptions to your sleep, speak to your doctor. 

If you have (or develop) a serious sleep condition that could affect your ability to drive safely, you must notify VicRoads. Drivers are legally required to report to VicRoads any medical conditions that could impact their ability to drive.

Find out what happens after you notify VicRoads.

Heavy vehicle drivers

Heavy vehicle drivers must meet strict safety standards in Victoria. If you have a serious sleep condition, you’ll need to undertake a medical review so we can assess your ability to drive safely. 

Find out more about the criteria for drivers of heavy vehicles in the AustRoads Assessing Fitness to Drive guidelines (External link)

Fitness to drive 

If you have (or develop) a medical condition that could affect your driving safety, you must notify VicRoads. There could be serious consequences in not reporting a medical condition - Fitness to drive FAQs if you don’t.  

Find out what happens after you notify VicRoads.

 

 

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