11 Trucker Fatigue Statistics and Facts That Will Shock You (Pt. 2)
April 3, 2015
Resuming 11 Trucker Fatigue Statistics and Facts That Will Shock You (Pt. 1), here, we will continue pointing out some important info regarding driver fatigue among commercial motorists.
While the first part of this blog series presented some general trucker fatigue statistics, below, we’ll expand on those stats, highlighting some additional facts about trucker fatigue, its prevalence and preventing it.
Trucker Fatigue: More Essential Facts
Trucker fatigue may be a bigger problem than is currently realized – According to a study conducted at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), it’s not uncommon for truckers (specifically drivers of tractor-trailers) to violate HOS regulations.
While there can be various ways of trying to get around these regulations (such as by falsifying travel logs), the primary motivations for violating HOS regulations are to meet strict schedules or secure early delivery bonuses. Regardless of why it happens, however, the bottom line is that violating HOS regulations increases the risk of trucker fatigue and that this may be happening far more than regulators realize.
- There has been a lot of concern about trucker fatigue due to recent HOS changes – As of this year, hours-of-service (HOS) rules for truckers have been relaxed, as provisions regarding the restart of a 60- to 70-hour limit week have been suspended (for now). This has made some, including federal regulators, concerned that trucker fatigue may end up comprising public safety at greater levels.
- Trucker fatigue can be as dangerous as drunk driving – In fact, commercial drivers’ performance behind the wheel usually starts deteriorating, showing impairments similar to drunk drivers, after two nights of getting no more than 5 hours of sleep (and the average trucker only gets about 5 hours of sleep per night while hauling a load).
When driving after 24 hours of no sleep, the impairments are similar to those exhibited by motorists with blood alcohol concentrations of 0.10 (or 2.5 times the legal limit for truckers and any commercially licensed motorists).
- EOBRs may help curb trucker fatigue – Although the jury is still out regarding how the relaxed HOS regulations may impact trucker fatigue, some contend that the use of electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs), which record the time (and other data while) a truck is being driven, would help prevent trucker fatigue, as drivers tend to comply with HOS rules (and other regulations) more when these recorders are onboard their vehicles.
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