Driver fatigue is an important contributor to fatal and serious injury road crashes in New Zealand. It has been acknowledged internationally for a number of years, and the issue is becoming increasingly prominent in New Zealand.

It is important to recognise that driver fatigue is a complex condition. It can be difficult to identify and recognise its role in crashes. Research suggests that in New Zealand driver fatigue as a contributing factor may be under-represented in the reported crash system. Without an admission from the driver concerned, or other clear evidence, it is difficult to determine the incidence of driver fatigue during a crash investigation.