Driver Fatigue

Drowsy driving is one of many driving hazards which renders drivers less capable of responding appropriately to prevent a crash. Distracted, drugged, and drunk driving likewise cause preventable tragedies.

Article on Vehicle Technology to Detect Microsleep in a Driver: Sleepy Behind the Wheel? Some Cars Can Tell, By

Drowsiness Alert This feature may alert you if you’re drowsy and suggest you take a break when it’s safe to do so.,

Read this January 2017 article on DISTRACTED DRIVINGThe Unimaginable Grief of Distracted Driving Deaths How road safety advocates are tackling a public health problem head on.

October 31, 2016, Update on ELDs: ELD mandate survives court challenge “A federal mandate requiring nearly all U.S. truck operators to use electronic logging devices to track duty status has been upheld in court, meaning the December 18, 2017, compliance date remains effective.” I still am hoping to get a Tired Trucker Roundtable organized because ELDs are only a part of the solution.

UPDATE on Electronic Logging Devices: In lawsuit Court date set for ELD lawsuit The federal court overseeing the lawsuit challenging the U.S. DOT’s electronic logging device mandate has scheduled oral arguments for the case to be heard in court on Sept. 13, where the owner-operator plaintiffs in the case hope to convince the court to strike down the U.S. DOT’s ELD mandate. The DOT, meanwhile, hopes to convince the court to uphold its mandate.

UPDATE, May 21, 2016: I propose a Tired Trucker Roundtable to more comprehensively address driver fatigue crashes.

UPDATE August 3, 2016: Tired Trucker Roundtable: If we plan it, they will come. Can we pull it off?

After the truck crash which killed AnnaLeah and Mary, we never saw the truck driver’s paper log books and he was not able to tell us why he hit us. We suspect that drowsy driving may well have played a part. But it is a very difficult thing to prove.

I can’t go back and re-do that day and make sure that truck driver is fully alert throughout his entire work day on the road–especially that stretch of I-20 in Georgia near Exit 130. But I can advocate for the widespread public health problem of driver fatigue to be recognized and tackled.

See my ideas here for a Tired Trucker Roundtable (and, as Lou Lombardo has said, it could also impact drowsy driving by any driver on the road): I propose a Tired Trucker Roundtable to more comprehensively address driver fatigue crashes.

Tired Trucker Roundtable

Congress, let DOT do their job to stop tired truckers. Make saving lives the priority and not saving corporate dollars. See what DOT Secretary Foxx says about trucker Hours of Service: Why We Care About Truck Driver Fatigue.

More than 20,000 people are calling for Vision Zero. That means that the people want this country to make SAVING LIVES The Priority: Save Lives Not Dollars: Urge DOT to Adopt a Vision Zero Policy

For that matter, any form of Distracted or Impaired Driving needs to be addressed in a comprehensive way in this nation (and, of course, globally): Do it, President Obama, for We the People of this United States of America! #VisionZero.

Update, February 10, 2016:   NTSB Finds Fatigue, High-Risk Motor Carrier Led to Fatal 2014 Multi-Vehicle Collision

Update, December 10, 2015, The Electronic Logging Device Rule is now final. Read more here:

December 14, 2015: Gadget to stop Drivers Nodding Off at the Wheel Could Become Compulsory in new European regulations.  My goodness, if this can be done & would Save Lives, why would we NOT do it, America?!

DWF = Driving While Fatigued (or Drowsy Driving)

Driver fatigue can affect any driver–you included, or the driver of a vehicle in which you are a passenger.

“…Driving while fatigued is comparable to driving drunk, only there is not the same social stigma attached. Like alcohol, fatigue affects our ability to drive by slowing reaction time, decreasing awareness and impairing judgment. Driving while sleep impaired is a significant issue, and is no longer tolerated. Legislation {in Canada} is beginning to change by handling collisions cause by a fatigued driver as seriously as alcohol-impaired crashes.”

Interesting facts about sleep

and about Drowsy Driving:


This is our crash, which may have been caused by a drowsy truck driver–killing AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13).

Fatigue is an ongoing problem among truck drivers. There are many factors, some of them beyond a driver’s control, which contribute to fatigue. Unfortunately, their fatigue too often contributes to a greater likelihood of a crash.

Currently, there are inadequate means to 1) prevent truck drivers from driving fatigued and 2) prove that it was a causal factor when accidents occur.

See posts on this website regarding driver fatigue:

Driver Fatigue in Relationship to Driver Pay

On Driver Fatigue from Brake Road Safety in the UK:

See posts on this website regarding electronic logging devices:

How drowsy driving affected one family:

Check out these links for more information related to driver fatigue:

Truck Safety Coalition on fatigue

How to fill out Trucker Log Books

Electronic Logging Devices have been mandated by legislation and the DOT rule which requires them has passed an important milestone. Here is a summary of its progress:

 “So, to break down the EOBR / ELD mandate process so far:

The road to the ELD mandate began when Congress passed MAP-21 in June 2012.

The president signed MAP-21 shortly thereafter, requiring the FMCSA to write a rule requiring use of electronic logging devices, or EOBRs, for all drivers that keep a Record Of Duty Status—about 3.1 million trucks and 3.4 million drivers today.

The FMCSA developed a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) that was sent to the Office of the Secretary, who approved it and sent it back to the FMCSA in July 2013.

From there, the rule moved over to OMB, where it cleared today, March 12, 2014.

The FMCSA will keep the rule for the next two weeks, eventually publishing the SNPRM for public comment.

A comment period will then take place, published as 60 days, giving anyone a chance to add their feedback.

The FMCSA will take those public comments and revise the rule, a process that can take between six and nine months.

According to these time frames, we can estimate a final rule to be published in the first calendar quarter of 2015.

Based on MAP-21 requirements, fleets will have two years to comply with these rules—meaning you will be required to implement an EOBR for an Electronic Logging Device by January 2017 at the latest.”

Taken from:

We are thankful for the progress which DOT has made thus far with the Electronic Logging Device rule. However, we don’t want the process to drag out any longer than necessary. Lives are at stake!

Here is a link to make public comment on Electronic Logging Devices:

Watch these short informative videos on Electronic Logging Devices:

Truck Safety Coalition on Electronic Logging Devices:

Driver Fatigue Monitoring:


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