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 predisposed to fatigue at the wheel, this problem is of particular concern for them 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 an 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: 
    • 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 shifts
  • 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)This file does not meet Web accessibility standards..

Useful information

North American Fatigue Management Program

The goal of the North American Fatigue Management Program is to reduce driver fatigue, improve the quality of life of drivers, and lower the rate of accidents caused by fatigue and the related costs. The program targets heavy vehicle drivers and their families, employers, shippers, dispatchers and company safety supervisors.

The main goals of the program are to understand fatigue and to convey the importance of proper sleep hygiene and a healthy lifestyle.