National Transportation Safety Board Recommends Addressing Driver Sleep Habits
Lawmakers walk a very fine line when it comes to regulating the commercial practices of major businesses. While it can be easy to suggest large and widespread changes to an industry if it has a possibility of making things safer, there are many other factors to consider. Many often forget that regulating companies means regulating the lives of the individuals who work there. And while some regulations are reasonable, others draw criticism due to accusations of being overly-intrusive. One such topic is driver sleep habits. Though regulations affecting driver sleep habits have been put forth with seemingly good intentions, they have not been met with entirely positive feedback.
There are many regulatory measures designed to prevent accidents related to fatigue while behind the wheel. These rules have been amended and changed numerous times based on feedback as to how effective they truly are. Still, a driver falling asleep behind the wheel can be catastrophic for any motorist on the road. And with many determined drivers willing to put off rest for a few more hours in order to get the job done, attention still continues to be given to driver sleep habits.
Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board has been vocal about the creation of measures to prevent obstructive sleep apnea in drivers. And given that it would require additional measures of monitoring and logging in order to make sure driver sleep habits and rest periods are in compliance with any new mandates, the proposal has been met with mixed reactions. While trucking companies already comply with many regulations dealing with mandatory rest periods or caps on the amount of hours that truckers are allowed to work in a given time period, many view additional legislation as not only intrusive, but burdensome – especially in a sluggish economy.
Coordinating deliveries already involves taking weather conditions, client schedules, and driver schedules into account. Factoring in additional measures that deal with sleep requirements would add a whole new layer to the logistical process. And while the trend of slow but steady job growth continues in the trucking industry, many think that new regulatory measures could put a stop to it. With everything from electronic logging devices to new medical screenings being discussed in order to address the possibility of fatigue-related accidents, it’s clear that the results will soon be in. As data reveals how effective these measures are on promoting safety, they can be adapted as needed.