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Truck Accident Expert Witness:
Companies Can Help Control Fatigue.

Truck Accident & Safety Expert Witness Articles

ByDon Asa - 2008 - Phoenix, AZ

There are always going to be fatigued people, but the problems related to fatigue are much more significant when related to moving or operating equipment and Commercial Vehicles, especially on the highways.

Truck Driver Expert Witness

Everybody should know what fatigue is. The difficulty is for an organization that is operating equipment on the highways to recognize the problems that their drivers or operators may have.  Companies should know that fatigue is a never-ending problem.  About 40% of accidents are fatigue related – a DOT figure.

It certainly behooves a company involved in transportation to have a continuous program studying their particular operations’ relation to fatigue.  The crux of the matter is, “What does the company do about addressing fatigue problems?”  An explanation needs to be given here that most often the generalization of the label “truck companies” gives the impression that all truck drivers and companies come under the same blanket.  Actually, there are thousands of different types of truck companies and trucking operations, which should be easy to picture when you consider that everything you see, use, or can describe, is hauled on trucks.  This includes everything that you eat, wear, sit on, lie on, take a shower under, or any other object you can think of is hauled on trucks.

Each and every company that hauls such items has their own unique problem.  One thing they all have in common is they (the companies) all use drivers.  All have to couple the human element with the mechanical & logistical elements. A companies have to deal with the economics of hiring, training, monitoring and auditing drivers no matter how big or small the company is or what geography or circumstances they run in.  Every company has to deal with the viability of their drivers. Certainly, there is a vast difference between long line drivers and local delivery drivers. There are extreme differences between a logging operation and a company hauling telephone poles. The point being that each company should address and take responsibility for the study of their own jobs, their own drivers, their own equipment, and their own issues related to fatigue.

A major question is, “What information is researched by the company and what information was passed down to their drivers?”

See: “Companies that share knowledge are better, even trucking companies.”

Certainly, the studies of fatigue related to each company, is each company’s responsibility. Companies could gain significant knowledge about their drivers by simply creating a questionnaire. The categories of the questionnaire might also include the seniority of the driver, performance of the drivers, as recognized by department heads (supervisors), the driver’s age, followed by their ambitions and the goals, and family hobbies, like little league. The questionnaires are simply something that demonstrates that the company of any category of driving is concerned with safety; the safety of the driver and the safety of the general public. Keep in mind that about 90% to 95% of accidents are driver error.  The more knowledge you accrue as a company, the more knowledge you disseminate, the better chance of drivers acting and driving in a safe manner. This should result in a higher rate of safety for the company and the driver.

The drivers want to get the job done. Getting the job done safely should be everyone’s priority.

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