The North American Fatigue Management Program was formed by three teams of medical and sleep scientists from Canada and the United States that did the research on the development of the program and testing its efficacy, to ensure that we developed a fully comprehensive approach to fatigue mitigation. The program provides education on the following:
- Developing a corporate safety culture that actively combats driver fatigue
- Educating drivers, drivers’ families, carrier executives and managers, shippers/receivers, and dispatchers on fatigue management
- Sleep disorders screening and treatment
- Driver and trip scheduling practices
- Fatigue Management Technologies
Research and Development
The multi-year collaborative research to develop, test and evaluate components of a fatigue management program (FMP) for commercial vehicle operators has resulted in a thorough understanding of the issues, opportunities and challenges inherent in managing operator fatigue in a 24/7 motor carrier environment. The NAFMP was developed through four distinct research, development and testing phases.
Phase one began through a series of focus groups with motor carriers to assist in the project design. Researchers identified fatigue management requirements and developed a comprehensive approach intended for drivers, dispatchers and company managers. Tools were identified for use in data collection; six drivers underwent a beta test.
Phase two involved the development of educational and training materials. Procedures for field testing the FMP were developed and assessed. Field data collection was completed in Alberta, Quebec and Texas. Screening and treatment for sleep apnea was added to the initial program. The evaluation involved six fleets and 38 drivers in Alberta and Quebec. An additional eight drivers in Texas joined later.
Phase three involved an operational field test with 77 commercial vehicle drivers in Alberta, Quebec and California. Among the findings were positive trends in sleep duration and sleep efficiency post-FMP, and reduced critical events:
- Improved reported sleep quality on duty days
- 20 minutes longer main sleep on duty days
- Duty day main period sleep duration and sleep efficiency improved compared to rest days
- Drivers reported less fatigue (trend)
- Reduction in proportion of drivers reporting critical events (29% from 46%) and 40% reduction in number of critical events per km driven
Based on the research, findings and operational data from the first three phases, Phase 4 involved development of the recommended guidelines, Implementation Manual, and training materials and the development of the NAFMP website.