Click for next page ( 5


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 4
4 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND Fatigue management program elements and fatigue research findings can be extracted from earlier efforts that have general Operator fatigue is a critical issue that applies to all modes applicability across a range of commercial transportation of commercial transportation. Fatigue can induce sleepiness modes (McCallum et al., 2003, p. 1-1). and drowsiness, decrease alertness, degrade the ability of workers to operate vehicles safely, and thereby increase the Hours of Service Regulations risk of crashes, injuries, or even fatalities. In 2003, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Research The original hours of service (HOS) regulations prescribed and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) published a for commercial drivers were promulgated in 1939. Since then, major reference document on commercial transportation oper- as the FMCSA discusses on its Internet web site: "Our roads ator fatigue management (McCallum et al., 2003). Although are better designed, constructed, and maintained in a nation- this all-purpose guidance document was intended to address wide network to provide greater mobility, accessibility, and operator fatigue in all transportation modes, commercial over- safety for all highway users. Vehicles have been dramatically the-road bus and motorcoach operators were not specifically improved in terms of design, construction, safety, comfort, mentioned. efficiency, emissions, technology, and ergonomics. These fac- The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB, 1990) tors, combined with years of driver fatigue and sleep disorder determined that the incidence of operator fatigue is underesti- research, have led to a revision of the hours-of-service regula- mated in virtually every transportation mode, because it is so tions for drivers, the most important component of trucks oper- hard to quantify and measure. Many accident investigations ating on the highway" (FMCSA, 2004; www.fmcsa.dot.gov). do not obtain the information necessary to address the contri- Recently revised FMCSA truck driver HOS regulations bution of fatigue: namely, the condition of the operators, the (placed into effect on 4 January 2004) only apply to property extent to which they have been deprived of sleep, and their carriers and drivers. Currently, these truck driver HOS regu- state of alertness. Therefore, it is likely, most transportation lations are under judicial and administrative review. Com- accident and crash records do not adequately account for mercial passenger carriers and drivers will continue operating fatigue-related factors that might have played a significant under the previously existing rules while fatigue issues spe- part of the investigative report. cific to the passenger carrier industry (bus and motorcoach Available analyses of crash reports and accident and inci- drivers) are assessed. As of this writing, then, all bus and dent data suggest that operator fatigue may contribute to motorcoach operators may not drive between 20% and 40% of commercial transportation accidents. A 1996 U.S. Coast Guard study (McCallum, Raby, and Roth- More than 10 hours, following 8 hours off-duty, blum, 1996) reports the results of analyzing 297 commercial After 15 hours on-duty, following 8 hours off-duty, and marine casualty investigations, using procedures specially After 60/70 hours on-duty in 7/8 consecutive days. developed to identify the contribution of fatigue to the acci- dents. Analysis of these reports indicated that fatigue was a Over-the-Road Bus Operators contributing factor in 16% of vessel casualties and in 33% of the personnel injuries investigated. Buses of all kinds (e.g., over-the-road, transit, and school) Managing the fatigue of commercial transportation opera- make up about 6% of the vehicles over 10,000 pounds gross tors requires an understanding of the practical implications vehicle weight rating (GVWR); and they account for less of fatigue research, coupled with the application of appro- than 1% of all vehicles involved in fatal accidents. Over-the- priate fatigue management practices. Fatigue research has road buses represented 11% of all bus accidents from 1995 been conducted to address a wide range of issues and oper- through 1999 (Putcha, Blower, and Campbell, 2002). ational settings. A number of operator fatigue management training workshops, guidelines, and handbooks have been By far, the buses most involved in recordable accidents are developed to aid in the development of individual fatigue school buses. Transit buses also represent a large percentage management programs. of bus crashes. The low percentage of fatal accidents for

OCR for page 4
5 over-the-road buses reflects to a large extent the proportion commercial vehicle operator fatigue and alertness. The first of miles driven by the various bus types. National Truck and Bus Safety Summit sponsored by the A recent study (Crum, Morrow, and Daecher, 2002) used a Federal Highway Administration was held March 1215, Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Driver Fatigue Model to 1995, in Kansas City, Missouri. More than 200 experts from analyze the influence of carrier scheduling practices on motor- all modes of the motor carrier community met to share their coach driver fatigue. However, the study identifies some clear views and identify top truck and bus safety issues. Most of differences between commercial truck operators and com- the discussion over this 3-day Safety Summit addressed mercial motorcoach operators: issues concerning commercial trucking, but the commercial driver issues of concern were almost identical for bus and Motorcoach seats do not provide comfortable areas for motorcoach drivers. In identifying the top Truck and Bus sleeping. Unlike many tractor trailer trucks, buses rarely Safety Issues facing the nation, the Summit Participants listed have sleeper berth areas for drivers. On the other hand, as priority number one, a concern about CMV driver fatigue many motorcoach operators have the opportunity to (Reagle, 1995). sleep in hotel rooms while transporting tour groups. In preparation for the Summit, focus group sessions were Motorcoach drivers are in constant contact with their conducted to obtain information about highway safety issues passengers. There are only marginal physical separations relating to commercial motor carriers (i.e., trucks and buses). between the driver and his or her passengers' activities. Eighteen focus groups were conducted at the request of what Whereas commercial truck drivers can often drive the was then the Federal Highway Administration Office of same hours every day or night, motorcoach drivers are Motor Carriers (OMC). The focus groups were held in three tied to various tour or commercial schedules. Inverted regions of the country: the Southeast, the Midwest, and the duty/sleep cycles (i.e., driving during the day followed Northwest. by a 24-hour break and then driving at night) can occur The participants were representatives of three populations "because of group itineraries; also, itineraries may be that have an interest in commercial vehicle safety: commer- spontaneously altered, disrupting the driver's planned cial drivers (a total of 60 truck and bus drivers), police offi- schedule" (Crum, Morrow, and Daecher, 2002, p. 327). cers who deal in part with traffic enforcement, and the general Drivers have the additional responsibility of helping public or non-commercial drivers (adults who drive passen- with luggage, taking tickets, and generally looking after ger cars, light trucks, etc.). their passengers. The outcomes of group opinions about commercial buses Passengers provide an incentive for drivers to be pro- were summarized as follows: fessional and diligent, but may also provide an addi- tional source of fatiguing stress. Very few people express any concern about buses in relation to safety. Some note that intercity buses often speed on the Within the tour bus operator population, peak-season highway, but the drivers are generally regarded as competent demands may reduce opportunities for extended rest and careful. Most comments about city bus drivers are un- periods. related to safety. Special concerns are expressed about school bus drivers, who are seen as more likely than others to receive insufficient training and monitoring (Reagle, 1995, p. D-3). Although over-the-road bus operators and transit bus oper- ators drive similar vehicles, the operations of the two groups Also in 1995, a bus conference sponsored by OMC was differ. Nonetheless, research sponsored by the TCRP into bus held in Tyson's Corner, Virginia. This conference brought operator fatigue (Gertler et al., 2002) reports on fatigue counter- together leaders throughout the interstate bus industry to measures that are also relevant to this report. define and prioritize issues of importance to the industry's future vitality and safety. Hours of service/fatigue was rated Bus and Motorcoach Operator Fatigue Issues as one of the highest priority issues by the industry. In Novem- ber 1995, a symposium on managing human fatigue in trans- One of the first research studies to address bus driver fatigue portation was held in Tyson's Corner, Virginia. Irregular duty/ was the October 1978 report prepared for the National High- sleep patterns and inverted duty/sleep patterns were identi- way Traffic Safety Administration, Effects of Hours of Service, fied as major contributors to driver fatigue and therefore to Regularity of Schedules, and Cargo Loading on Truck and Bus commercial motor vehicle accidents. Driver Fatigue (Mackie and Miller, 1978). The most signifi- The three 1995 national meetings led to the next major cant finding of this report was that bus and truck drivers oper- study on bus operator fatigue, sponsored by the Federal Motor ating on irregular schedules suffer greater subjective fatigue Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in 1999 (Arrow- and physiological stress than drivers operating on a regular head Space & Telecommunications, Inc., 1999). The Arrow- schedule. head study included a series of focus groups and phone Partly in response to NTSB urgings to address issues surveys held with managers, supervisors, and drivers from of transportation operator fatigue, three national meetings over-the-road bus companies and organizations. In their were convened in 1995 to address various issues related to bibliographical review, the authors of that report found no