Driver fatigue contributes to 15-30% of crashes, however it is difficult to objectively measure. Fatigue mitigation relies on driver self-moderation, placing great importance on the necessity for road safety campaigns to engage with their audience. Popular self-archiving website YouTube.com is a relatively unused source of public perceptions.
A systematic YouTube.com search (videos uploaded 2/12/09 - 2/12/14) was conducted using driver fatigue related search terms. 442 relevant videos were identified. Invehicle footage was separated for further analysis. Video reception was quantified in terms of number of views, likes, comments, dislikes and times duplicated. Qualitative analysis of comments was undertaken to identify key themes.
4.2% (n=107) of relevant uploaded videos contained in-vehicle footage. Three types of videos were identified: (1) dashcam footage (n=82); (2) speaking directly to the camera - vlogs (n=16); (3) passengers filming drivers (n=9). Two distinct types of comments emerged, those directly relating to driver fatigue and those more broadly about the video or its uploader. Driver fatigue comments included: attribution of behaviour cause, emotion experienced when watching the video and personal advice on staying awake while driving.
In-vehicle footage related to driver fatigue is prevalent on YouTube.com and is actively engaged with by viewers. Comments were mixed in terms of criticism and sympathy for drivers. Willingness to share advice on staying awake suggests driver fatigue may be seen as a common yet controllable occurrence. This project provides new insight into driver fatigue perception, which may be considered by safety authorities when designing education campaigns.