|FIA CC World Cup: UAE study points way to increasing safety to saving lives.|
A first of its kind study into the effects of fatigue on drivers and riders in cross country rallying, published by the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), delivers a comprehensive plan to increase safety on events and save lives.
The first copy of the report, which is based on research conducted during April’s "Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge", was presented to H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, by ATCUAE President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
Sheikh Nahayan, who visited the Desert Challenge bivouac camp site during the event, said: "This study, which is a successful partnership between the ATCUAE as our national motor sport authority and academic sports scientists, is a welcome initiative that delivers valuable results not just for motor sport, but indeed for our society as a whole."
"I encourage other sporting federations and clubs to follow this example and to engage in research that will make UAE sport safer and more enjoyable for all. The creation of new sports science knowledge in the UAE will add to the country’s growing reputation in global sport."
The main findings of the ATCUAE research team were that competitors’ reactions deteriorated because of the effects of fatigue, lack of sleep and other factors including dehydration and concussion. Lowered reaction times increase the likelihood of accidents occurring.
The recommendations of the research team, which was led by Dr. Tadhg MacIntyre, of the University of Limerick in Ireland, include ways to improve the quality of competitors sleep, increased monitoring of competitors hydration levels, and the appointment of a Critical Incident Officer to debrief anyone involved in a serious incident.
Over four days, 27 different competitors underwent a testing of their reactions prior to the start of the day’s stage, while their number of hours sleep per night, and quality of sleep, were also recorded.
Dr. MacIntyre, whoworked closely with ATCUAE Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sean Petherbridge and other members of the club’s research division, the Motorsport Knowledge Institute, said: "The main findings were that reaction times, on average, were increased across the days of the study, and while the number of hours sleep per night stayed reasonably consistent, the quality of this sleep dropped considerably."
The report recommends that funding should now be made available to conduct a championship-wide longitudinal study across three further events in the 2015 and 2016 seasons to evaluate risk factors for competitors, including sleep, hydration, concussion and fatigue. FIA President Jean Todt, who was presented an early draft of the report, has encouraged Ben Sulayem to conduct wider research into the issue.
FIA Vice President Ben Sulayem said: “The findings are powerful and I hope will result in prompt changes to the regulations. More importantly they underline the value of research itself in helping us to improve motorsport safety. "Over the event’s 24 year history, we have worked hard to constantly improve safety and the competitor experience. However, we can always do better and that is why I commissioned the experts to undertake this study."
The new report will now be delivered to the FIA, motor sport’s world governing body, and the FIM, the International Motorcycling Federation, as well as motor sport authorities and event organisers worldwide.
2014/06/26 | 17:47 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ACTUAE