Commercial driver fatigue is a problem across the country for fleet truck drivers. A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration study found that truck driver fatigue was associated with 13 percent of the crashes. Tired commercial fleet drivers may not be alert to potential hazards on the road, and this can have a drastic effect on their safety.
What are the causes of driver fatigue?
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently released a report that showed commercial trucking accidents are on the rise with about one fatality every eight hours. Truck driver fatigue is one of the main reasons for these accidents and deaths. So what can we do to improve the issue?
Can you spot driver fatigue?
Here are two simple signs:
- If you’re driving and see someone drifting from one lane to the next
- If they’re slow to react when traffic lights change color
There are many factors that contribute to driver fatigue including:
- Being sleep deprived
- Long hours spent behind the wheel
- Long periods of time without a rest break
- Medical conditions such as diabetes or chronic pain
What are some physical and mental symptoms of fatigue?
A lack of sleep can cause a variety of physical and mental symptoms. These range from mild headaches to bouts of depression, anxiety, irritability, delusions and hallucinations. It is important for company fleet managers to be aware of these symptoms so they can take action in preventing them before it becomes an issue for their employees.
What are some drivability or truck related issues related to accidents?
Driving a truck is not an easy job, and accidents are bound to happen. But what other factors may contribute to these accidents? Accidents involving trucks can be caused by any number of things including driver fatigue or mechanical failure. However, there are also some drivability issues that have been found in accident reports after the fact: tire tread depth, steering wheel alignment and brake lining thickness. Regular maintenance can stop preventable accidents.
What happens if a CDL driver gets in an accident?
CDL drivers are required by law to carry $750,000 of liability insurance on top of their personal auto policy. This coverage is called “excess” or “umbrella.” It’s also important for fleet managers to understand which company provides these excess/umbrella policies and whether they offer discounts when combined with other coverages from that provider.
Who is liable in a truck accident?
Liability for the truck accident depends on who caused it. In most cases, if one truck driver was negligent and acted in a way that caused an accident with another vehicle, then he or she will be liable for any damages sustained by those other parties. Since commercial drivers have significantly larger coverage limits than regular drivers, this is where many personal injury claims arise from such accidents. There also may be criminal charges brought against CDL drivers when there is no evidence of negligence but death occurs as a result of the crash.
Preventing Commercial Driver Fatigue with GPS Trackit
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver fatigue is responsible for hundreds of car crashes each year. But with GPS Trackit’s innovative solution, there’s a way to reduce accidents, lower costs and create safer roadways and happier drivers.
GPS Trackit offers real-time vehicle tracking that not only allows fleet managers to track their vehicles on a map but also gives them access to detailed reports about driving behavior, including speed data and alerts when drivers exceed certain speeds or drive too far without rest breaks. All this data can be used by fleet managers in conjunction with other tools, like safety training to reduce accidents caused by driver fatigue while improving overall employee satisfaction as well as lowering operating costs through improved fuel efficiency.
Want to learn more? Contact a fleet advisor about how GPS Trackit can help.