The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released a report that assesses the state of knowledge about the relationship of such factors as hours of driving, hours on duty, and periods of rest to the fatigue experienced by truck and bus drivers while driving and the implications for the safe operation of their vehicles. The report evaluates the relationship of these factors to drivers’ health over the longer term, and identifies improvements in data and research methods that can lead to better understanding in both areas.
There are approximately 4,000 fatalities in crashes involving trucks and buses in the United States each year. Though estimates are wide-ranging, possibly 10 to 20 percent of these crashes might have involved fatigued drivers. According to the report, the stresses associated with their particular jobs (irregular schedules, etc.) and the lifestyle that many truck and bus drivers lead, puts them at substantial risk for insufficient sleep and for developing short- and long-term health problems.
TRB is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which provides independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conducts other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.