The purpose of this safety program is to manage and prevent driver fatigue and the associated hazards. Fatigue can be of serious concern in fleet safety and other employee driving operations.
- Regulate routes to comply with all fatigue-related regulations, including hours-of-service regulations.
- Provide education and training on the hazards of fatigued driving and methods to prevent such conditions.
- Adhere to hours-of-service regulations.
- Be aware of personal alertness level and ensure adequate sleep is received before operating any vehicles.
- Drivers must comply with hours-of-service regulations.
- Employees should ensure they get adequate rest prior to each driving shift.
- Drivers are to stop for rest in areas that are safely away from traffic.
- Lock and secure doors when sleeping.
Employees should be trained on signs and symptoms of fatigue and prevention techniques:
Signs of Fatigue
- Persistent yawning and watery eyes
- Difficulty keeping eyes open and focused, along with trouble keeping head up
- Mind wanders from current task and memory lapses
- Variable speed, constant shifting, or failure to check mirrors as normal
- Lane drifting, missing exits, following too close to the vehicle in front of you
Certain factors can lead to or increase the fatigue levels felt by drivers:
- Loss of, inadequate, or disrupted sleep
- Stress, boredom, or mental and physical exhaustion
- Poor physical fitness and endurance
- Environmental conditions (temperature, lighting, humidity, altitude, low noise levels)
- Traffic and long sustained driving
- Frequent driving schedule changes
- Sleep disorders (insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy)
Effective Sleeping Routine
Many methods are suggested to help get a more restful night’s sleep, including the following:
- Avoid using electronic devices that emit blue light at night/before sleeping
- Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages before sleeping
- Synthetic melatonin may help you fall asleep
- Sleep in a dark, quiet room and maintain a comfortable temperature
- Use a comfortable sleeping surface
- Develop a routine in preparation for sleep
Increased Alertness Methods
- Get adequate sleep quantity and quality
- Develop delivery schedules with customers conducive to safe driving
- Maintain your health and weight by exercising and eating properly
- When you feel sleepy, pull off the road and take short naps at an appropriate location
- Use caffeine sparingly and as recommended
- Communicate with someone else in the car or over a Bluetooth device
- Get help with personal problems that cause stress and worry and may lead to a lack of sleep
While some methods are more effective than others, it is important to note that not all methods work for everyone. Take time to experiment and see which methods are the most effective for you.