Truck Driver Fatigue Training Plan: Why Sleep Deprivation is as Dangerous as Drunk Driving

Laura McMillan

By Laura McMillan
Vice President, Training Program Development
Instructional Technologies Inc.

We all know drunk driving is criminally irresponsible, but many people aren't aware drowsy drivers are just as dangerous as drunks. Fatigued driving may be even worse than drunk driving because drivers may not be aware how impaired they are. According to a study by AAA:

  • Missing one to two hours of sleep doubles the chance a driver will be involved in a crash
  • If a driver only sleeps 4-5 hours, their odds of an incident are the same as if they were legally drunk
  • Drivers who get fewer than four hours of sleep are 11.5 times more likely to have a collision

Ensuring truck drivers understand fatigue laws and DOT hours of service rules is important, but so is educating drivers how to manage fatigue. Teaching one without the other is a bit like telling someone why germs are bad, but not teaching them how to thoroughly wash their hands. Help your truck drivers learn how to prevent sleep deprivation, manage fatigue, and improve their night driving skills with convenient online courses from ITI. Use our list of recommended courses below, or create a custom training track from more than 150 online courses.

Fatigue Management for Truck Drivers

Fatigue Management

Recognizing the early symptoms of fatigue is critical to crash prevention. This lesson reviews how fatigue impacts performance, strategies to manage and combat fatigue, how to use sleep cycles to their best effect and a basic explanation of the Federal regulations regarding driving when fatigued.

Fatigue Management - A Guide for Families

This lesson covers various topics related to fatigue and how a driver's family can assist them in reducing or eliminating fatigue.

Hours of Service

When operating a commercial vehicle, there are limits to how many hours a driver can be on duty per day, and also per week. There are also a minimum number of off-duty hours that must be logged. This lesson covers the four duty statuses and how drivers should record their time for each status. It also explains:

  • Duty statuses
  • How to record working hours
  • How to manage daily and weekly on-duty limits
  • How to manage fatigue and out of service penalties
  • Sleeper berth exceptions and split sleeper berth time
  • Mandatory off duty time between shifts (no sleeper)

Night Driving

Many drivers make deliveries at night when there is less traffic and fewer cars in parking lots. Unfortunately, crashes happen three times more often at night. This lesson includes real-world night driving tips including:

  • How to prepare your vehicle for night driving
  • How to use your lights
  • How to manage fatigue and drowsiness
  • Using your vision at night
  • How to maximize your skills at night

Sleep Apnea

In a profession like trucking, lack of sleep can make a hazardous job even more dangerous. Especially if the driver has sleep apnea. Knowing the symptoms of sleep apnea and options for treatment can help drivers get the sleep they need and keep everyone safe on the road. This lesson educates drivers about sleep apnea, its signs and symptoms, the toll it can take on someone, and treatment plans for living with sleep apnea.

Driver Wellness

Operating a commercial vehicle safely comes with many responsibilities - including maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This lesson explains the connection between healthy lifestyle choices and driver performance. The lesson also reviews:

  • The effects of stress and how to manage it
  • An introduction to diet and exercise
  • How to manage alcohol consumption and abuse

Help Your Truck Drivers Avoid Sleep Deprivation

Drivers can complete online training on their phone, tablet or computer anywhere they have internet. What better place to remind them about sleep management than out on the road? Assign lessons in just a few clicks with ITI's Sentix learning management system. Our client services reps are happy to help if you have any questions.

Connect with us by phone, 360-576-5976 option 4, or online.

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Truck Driver Fatigue Training Plan: Why Sleep Deprivation is as Dangerous as Drunk Driving

We all know drunk driving is criminally irresponsible, but many people aren't aware drowsy drivers are just as dangerous as drunks.

Laura McMillan