More research needed on truck driver fatigue: report
Washington – More research is needed to determine the link between driver fatigue and crashes involving large trucks and buses, according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Fatigue is estimated to play a role in up to one-fifth of commercial motor vehicle crash fatalities. However, NAS stated, existing research is muddled because of difficulties measuring fatigue objectively; measuring the quality and quantity of a driver’s sleep; and determining the role of fatigue in a fatal crash that may include multiple factors – some of which are not related to sleep.
NAS claims most data skews toward CMV drivers who work for larger carriers. More information should be collected from independent owner-operators and drivers who work for smaller carriers, researchers said. In addition, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration could create extra incentives for large fleets, independent trucking associations and insurance organizations that gather driver performance data. FMCSA’s hours-of-service regulations limit the amount of time a driver can spend on the road, but they do not guarantee a driver will receive adequate sleep and rest while he or she is off duty.
The Department of Transportation sponsored the NAS report, which was announced March 10.