“Fatigue and the criminal law.”

Should Driving While Fatigued be considered RECKLESS or NEGLIGENT when a person is driving an 80,000 lbs. death machine? Not a new question. Deserves an answer.

“Fatigue is an increasingly recognised risk factor for transportation accidents. In light of this, there is the question of whether driving whilst fatigued should be a criminal offence. This paper discusses the current legal position, including the problems of voluntary conduct and self awareness. Three models for reform are proposed. The manner in which scientific research can inform legal consideration and future directions for research are discussed.”

Ind Health. 2005 Jan;43(1):63-70.


Other related studies:

  1. “Fell asleep and caused a fatal head-on crash? A case study of multidisciplinary in-depth analysis vs. the court. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19214881
  2. “Convicted of fatigued driving: who, why and how? ”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19540978
  3. “[Tiredness and sleepiness in bus drivers and road accidents in Peru: a quantitative study].”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15333261
  4. “Modern medicine is neglecting road traffic crashes. ” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23776413
  5. “Acute cannabis consumption and motor vehicle collision risk: systematic review of observational studies and meta-analysis.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22323502
  6. “Psychomotor vigilance testing of professional drivers in the occupational health clinic: a potential objective screen for daytime sleepiness.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21826029
  7. “Visual vigilance in drivers with obstructive sleep apnea.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19616141

If a truck driver is prone to drive drowsy, what is the logical strategy to make him/her a safer driver? Forbid driving commercially? Require technology to alert to sleepiness? Convict of a reckless criminal offense if not used and a crash results leading to death or serious injury?

What Hours of Service (HOS) rules would make the most sense?

And ENFORCEMENT is oh so very important. In our crash, the Crash Report said, “No Medical Card found.” Yet, was any further mention made of this or investigation done into this? Not that I am aware of.

Driving While Fatigued = DWF = A Public Health Problem


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