NAFMP Safety Efforts Against Truck Driver Fatigue.

One of the major leading causes of crash incidents on the roads is truck driver fatigue. Drivers report falling asleep 7% of the time at the wheel, as well as 41% reporting contributing factors all under the umbrella of truck driver fatigue. The North American Fatigue Management Program is an organization working in steadfast development on assisting driver’s in facing the challenges that come with professional truck driver fatigue.

The North American Fatigue Management Program is committed to providing the time and resources to develop enhancements in the effectiveness and solutions to the many problems caused by truck driver fatigue.

The crusaders in the fight against truck driver fatigue are the Alberta Workers Compensation Board, Transport Canada, Alberta Motor Transport Association, Employment and Immigration, the American Transportation Research Institute, Alberta Motor Transport Association and the American Transportation Research Institute. With Eastern counterparts in Quebec – Societe de l’assurance, automobile du Quebec, Commission de la santé et de la securite du travail du Quebec.

The above researchers, and American and Canadian regulators have spent the past several years developing a comprehensive approach in managing truck driver fatigue. Their approach addresses many issues plaguing truck driver fatigue such as:

Driver and trip scheduling information
Truck driver fatigue management education
Information of sleep disorders and available screening / treatment
Guidance in forming a corporate culture that facilitates reductions in truck driver fatigue
Information of truck driver fatigue management technologies

The NAFMP continues in ongoing trailblazing methods of testing, researching and evaluating components in their truck driver fatigue management program (FMP) for commercial vehicle operators. In further understanding the challenges inherent in managing truck driver fatigue they have developed four distinct research, testing and development phases.

Phase 1 – consists of a series of focus groups comprised of motor carriers assisting in project design. Tools are identified and used in data collection and beta testing using six drivers, assisting them in identifying truck driver fatigue management requirements for drivers, company management and dispatchers.

Phase 2 – involves the development in procedures for field-testing, and training and educational materials. Field data was collected in Texas, Alberta and Quebec. Six fleets and 38 drivers in Alberta and Quebec, and 8 drivers from Texas were evaluated and involved in the screening and treatment for sleep apnea added to the program.

Phase 3 – involved 77 commercial drivers in California, Alberta and Quebec taking part in an operational field test. Findings included positive trends in sleep efficiency and duration reducing critical events such as 20 minutes longer main sleep on duty days, drivers reported less truck driver fatigue and a reduction in proportion of drivers reporting critical events (29% from 46%) and 40% less critical events per kilometers driven. As well as improved sleep quality reported on duty days, and sleep duration and efficiency improved in comparison to rest days.

Phase 4 – focused on developing the training materials to educate and promote awareness of truck driver fatigue, further improvements on the NAFMP website, and regarding the recommended guidelines and the Implementation Manual based on the operation data, findings and research from the previous three phases.