ATU 1624 calls for government action to stop fatigue-related fatalities

ATU 1624
June 13, 2017
By ATU 1624
June 13, 2017 - It only takes a second to fall asleep at the wheel, but driver fatigue begins long before a driver starts to nod off.

Fatigue is one of the leading causes of death on the roads. Roughly 41% of crash fatalities of all motor coach collisions are a direct result of exhaustion. It’s an issue that impacts everyone and the consequences can be dire.

There are many factors that can lead to driver fatigue. The primary contributor is a lack of quality sleep. The risk of fatigue also increases when drivers are on the road at times when they would normally be sleeping, such as early morning or late at night. Did you know a person’s alertness is reduced after being awake for 17 hours and that this has the same effect as a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05?

Studies have proven that performance ability begins to decline after being awake for 13 hours. The reality is a motor coach operator can drive up to 13 hours in a 24-hour period with only eight consecutive hours of rest between shifts. How long could you uphold this schedule before suffering from fatigue?

In 2014, ATU 1624 launched a campaign to draw awareness to this issue, hoping to prompt the Canadian government to change the Motor Vehicle Transport Act that governs drivers’ hours of service. However, the Canadian government did not act and the legislation remains unchanged as fatal collisions from driver fatigue continue to rise. ATU 1624 is now renewing its call on the Federal Ministry of Transportation to legislate safer rules that will:
  • Limit daily driving time to a maximum of 10 hours;
  • Ensure that drivers are not on duty for more than 13 hours in a 24-hour period; and
  • Guarantee a minimum of 10 consecutive hours’ rest between shifts.
Why? Because the lives of all passengers and motor coach drivers matter!

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