Owners and Operators

Driver Fatigue Is Everyone's Business – Employers Included

Heavy vehicle drivers are not the only ones responsible for managing their fatigue. Fatigue can be caused by the decisions and actions of the various parties within the carrier industry.

Driver fatigue, in brief

Fatigue is a gradual decline of physical and mental alertness that can lead to drowsiness or sleepiness.

Fatigue impairs our faculties, and we often do not even realize it. Just like alcohol, accumulated fatigue reduces our ability to concentrate, affects our judgment and reflexes, and thus our ability to drive.

Although heavy vehicle drivers are not the only ones to be subject to fatigue at the wheel, they are particularly concerned by this problems due to:

  • long work hours
  • irregular schedules
  • night shifts
  • the long distances covered
Useful information

Did you know?

Fatigue is one of the leading causes of death on our roads, along with alcohol, speeding and distraction.

Operators, owners, employers: you also have a part to play

You cannot rely solely on legislation governing driving and off-duty time to prevent driver fatigue-related accidents.

Heavy vehicle drivers are not the only ones responsible for managing their fatigue. Fatigue can be caused by the decisions and actions of the various parties within the carrier industry.

How to prevent driver fatigue?

As the employer, there are measures you can adopt to prevent driver fatigue:

  • making safety and fatigue management fundamental values of your company
  • making your drivers' health and quality of life a priority
  • providing training to drivers, dispatchers and schedule managers to address the issue of driver fatigue and make them aware of ways to prevent it
  • implementing "biocompatible" schedules, that is, schedules that:
    • better suit the internal biological clock
    • are as regular as possible
    • are predictable and maximize the driver's recovery periods
    • take into account recent and upcoming work and rest periods
    • are, if necessary, rotating clockwise (day-evening-night)
    • limit night work
  • carefully managing overtime
  • providing enough rest time between 2 work shifts:
    • most people require 7 to 9 uninterrupted hours of sleep every 24 hours, preferably at night
  • following up on any incident or accident with the driver involved

For more information

Consult the Driver Fatigue – Fatigue Management Guide (PDF, 885 KB).

North American Fatigue Management Program

This program is designed to address the issue of driver fatigue with a comprehensive approach that includes:

  • information on how to develop a corporate culture that facilitates reduced driver fatigue
  • fatigue management education
  • information on sleep disorders screening and treatment
  • driver and trip scheduling information
  • information on fatigue management technologies

NAFMP goals

The main goal is to understand fatigue and the importance of proper sleep hygiene and a healthy lifestyle.

The program also aims to:

  • reduce fatigue among drivers
  • improve their quality of life
  • lower the rate of accidents caused by fatigue and the related costs

Who should take the training

  • Driver spouses and family
  • Motor carriers (regardless of the size of the business or the type of activities carried out)
  • Dispatchers
  • Shippers
  • Receivers
  • Carrier safety managers
  • Owners and operators

How to take the training

Online

You can take the training online free of charge on the Web site of the North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP).

Program participation is voluntary, so you can still take the training even if your carrier does not.

At a training centre

In collaboration with the SAAQ, the Centre de formation en transport de Charlesbourg and the Centre de formation du transport routier Saint-Jérôme offer training sessions based on the program’s material.