One third of lorry drivers report falling asleep at the wheel

One third of lorry drivers report falling asleep at the wheel

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.
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