By: Steve Vaughn, vice president of field operations, PrePass Safety Alliance

Is truck driver fatigue the result of detention and delays at shipper facilities? Is driver fatigue the outcome of bad motor carrier management practices? Perhaps fatigue belongs to truck drivers themselves, pushing for more miles. Or maybe it is a product of poor work/life balance and the readjustment from time at home to time on the road.

The answer to these questions is…yes.

Truck driver fatigue starts in many ways. And just as many people have a role in preventing fatigue. It is in everyone’s interest that fatigue does not endanger driver health and highway safety. Fortunately, research conducted by medical and sleep scientists in Canada and the United States allowed development of the multi-faceted North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP). Its goal is to educate and train every person who touches a truck driver’s life, and drivers themselves, in the causes and prevention of fatigue.

And now the NAFMP has a new home at the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration chose CVSA to house NAFMP because the organization already works directly with law enforcement, motor carriers, trucking organizations, safety associations and federal agencies to promote highway safety. Incorporating the NAFMP into CVSA’s program offerings was a natural means of reaching multiple players in truck and highway safety.

Don’t think of the North American Fatigue Management Program as the “blame game” so often associated with truck driver fatigue issues. Rather, NAFMP offers a comprehensive approach to effectively dealing with the challenges of fatigue in a highly competitive, widely dispersed and rapidly changing industry. NAFMP includes training modules for:

  • Motor carrier executives and managers
  • Commercial drivers
  • Safety managers and trainers
  • Dispatchers and driver managers
  • Freight shippers and receivers
  • Driver spouses and families

Interested parties can reach these training modules through the NAFMP e-learning center or through download-on-demand presentations. Either way, the NAFMP is free, with no obligation to users. Everyone shares the NAFMP goal: better truck driver health and improved highway safety.

For its part, CVSA plans to grow the NAFMP by hosting live and recorded question and answer sessions, providing NAFMP meetings during CVSA events, offering webinars on fatigue-related topics, and adding a Spanish language version of NAFMP to the French and English versions that were originally created. FMCSA granted an initial one-year contract to CVSA to host the NAFMP, with an option for four additional years.

For the first time, the trucking industry and its many partners have new and comprehensive resources to address the problem of truck driver fatigue.

Steve Vaughn is the vice president of field operations at PrePass Safety Alliance, the provider of PrePass weigh station bypass and toll payment/management services. Vaughn served nearly three decades with the California Highway Patrol and is a past president of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. 

This blog was originally published in the IdeaXchange