Lorries at a truck stop in the UK.

One third of lorry drivers report falling asleep at the wheel

  • June 5, 2021

Fatigue among professional drivers is now the norm on European roads, according to a new study by the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), the first EU-wide study in 15 years on driver fatigue in passenger and freight road transport.

The report, based on a survey of around 3000 truck, bus and coach drivers found that:

  • 60% of truck drivers and 66% of bus and coach drivers said they had to drive while fatigued on a regular basis;
  • Nearly 800 drivers said they nearly crashed and caused a major road collision due to driver fatigue;
  • Nearly 1/3 of truck drivers and 1/4 of coach drivers reported falling asleep at the wheel while driving
  • 57% of bus and coach drivers and 52% of truck drivers reported wanting to pull over and take a break when feeling tired, but being unable to

The ETF is calling on policy makers and employers:

  • to guarantee fair wages;
  • to ensure that drivers are remunerated for all work-related tasks;
  • to stop plans to make driving and rest time rules more flexible in freight and passenger transport;
  • to put eliminating driver fatigue at the core of the EU road safety strategy;
  • to ensure that professional drivers’ pay, working time and rest conditions are properly enforced;
  • to ensure that derogations from rules are done ‘by the book’, and not to permanently extend driver hours.