FMCSA Studies Fatigue In Local, Short-Haul Drivers
Aug 20, 2001 12:00 PM
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has released a study that shows how local/short haul drivers are affected by fatigue.
Researchers identified 77 critical incidents which were the drivers' faults. They attributed 57 of the incidents to driver inattention and 28 to fatigue. Two drivers accounted for 26 percent of the 77 critical incidents and eight accounted for 60 percent of them.
Drivers tended to be involved in fatigue-related critical incidents earlier in the work week. No fatigue-related critical incidents occurred after the fourth day of the workweek, suggesting that drivers get less sleep during their "weekend" breaks than during the workweek.
The researchers found the drivers spend about 28 percent of each work day driving, 35 percent loading and unloading, 26 percent performing other tasks, and seven percent waiting to unload. The rest of the time is used for eating or resting.
The study was performed by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. It developed several definitions of local/short haul (LSH) versus over-the-road trucks, and examined driver fatigue in truck crashes.
Researchers installed unobtrusive, compact, and reliable "black box" data collection systems in the trucks. Several small video cameras monitored each truck driver and surrounding traffic situation, and sensors collected data from the vehicle's instruments.
Performance data were collected as 42 drivers worked their typical delivery routes for approximately two weeks.