Driver fatigue is a critical safety issue that affects the transportation industry and increases the risk of collisions, which in turn impacts the safety of the motoring public.
Fatigue impacts driver attention and alertness and, as a result, increases instances of human error. It is estimated that 20% of fatal collisions can be linked to driver fatigue as a contributing factor (Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, 2010).
Fatigue management program
A fatigue management program can be created to address issues related to fatigue in the workplace, while reducing risks related to fatigue, and decreasing the number of fatigue-related incidents. Every carrier can benefit from having a fatigue management program, regardless of the size or type of business.
Fatigue management policies should be a part of a company's journey management. Planning the journey ensures that employees are better prepared to safely handle unplanned events or circumstances during trips.
With journey management processes in place, potential risks can be better identified prior to the trip and proactive measures can be taken to help manage or prevent the risks from happening during the trip.
Development of an effective fatigue management program is dependent upon:
- understanding the benefits of a fatigue management program
- understanding the factors that cause fatigue and the impacts of fatigue
- developing and implementing a program framework based on fatigue management principles, policies, and procedures that meet business needs
- identifying ways to evaluate program success to ensure continuous improvement
- incorporating the principles and framework of the North American Fatigue Management Program
North American Fatigue Management Program
North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP) was launched on July 10, 2013 as a tool for commercial truck and bus carriers and their employees to use to help identify and manage fatigue and fatigue-related issues to improve driver and public safety.
The program can be used to help carriers understand the signs and impacts of fatigue, and assist carriers in the development of their own fatigue management program. The NAFMP is a shared effort between international partnerships, multiple jurisdictions and motor carrier stakeholder groups.
The NAFMP includes information on:
- developing a corporate culture of safety to support reductions in driver fatigue
- fatigue management education for drivers, management, shippers/receivers and dispatchers
- identifying potential sleep disorders
- driver and trip scheduling
- fatigue management technologies
NAFMP module overview
The program consists of 10 learning modules developed by experts and geared to specific audiences in the transportation industry. Participation is voluntary and there is no charge to access or use the learning materials.
Participants can work at their own pace with the materials provided or through an online course format. Material provided may also be used to guide group training sessions. The program was field-tested in truck and bus operating environments and was proven to reduce fatigue in drivers.