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Large Truck Crash Causation Study Analysis DTRS57-04-D30043, TRACX Report of Analysis Truck Crashes and Work-Related Factors Associated with Drivers and Motor Carriers

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... Long-haul truck drivers experience multiple physical and psychological strains endemic to their profession that impact their health and safety (Apostolopoulos et al., 2014;Belzer, 2009). Because of the high-risk nature of operating a heavy and tractor-trailer due to the potential for traffic accidents, these drivers experience the most work-related fatalities of any occupation; further, the number of these trucks involved in fatal, injury, and property damage crashes have all risen in recent years (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018b; Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2019b; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019). ...
Introduction U.S. long-haul truck drivers (LHTD) experience the most work-related fatalities of any occupation. Hours-of-service (HOS) regulations constitute key public policies aimed at improving safety outcomes; however, little is known about the factors that are associated with HOS compliance, and questions remain about the efficacy of HOS laws in improving safety. This study seeks to identify factors associated with HOS compliance and to determine the significance of HOS compliance in sleep-related safety risk. Materials and methods Using cross-sectional survey data from 260 U.S. LHTD that measured demographic, work organization, sleep health, hours-of-service compliance, and sleep-related safety performance characteristics, we: 1) compiled descriptive statistics to summarize the variables included in this study; 2) performed bivariate correlation analyses between an HOS composite variable called “Hours-of-Service Violations” and the demographic, work organization, and sleep health variables; 3) conducted an ordinal logistic regression analysis, using the HOS composite variable as the outcome variable; and 4) conducted a multinomial logistic regression analysis, using a sleep-related safety performance composite variable called “Sleep-Related Safety Risk” as the outcome variable. Results Higher scores on the HOS composite variable were significantly associated with more miles driven per week, longer daily work hours, a higher frequency of a fast pace of work, shorter sleep duration, and poorer sleep quality. Statistically significant predictor variables in the Hours-of-Service Violations composite variable model were driving less than 2,500 miles per week (OR = 0.53), working less than 11 h daily (OR = 0.19) or between 11 and 13 h daily (OR = 0.43); a lower frequency of fast pace of work (OR = 0.42); and worknight sleep duration (OR = 0.80). Fewer than 11 h of work daily (OR = 0.37), a higher perception of supervisor support (OR = 0.17), and ever having told supervisor about being too tired to drive (OR = 0.42) were significant predictors in the Sleep-Related Safety Risk composite variable model, while the hours-of-service compliance variables were not. Conclusions Reducing daily work hours and pace of work, strengthening driver-supervisor relationships and improving supervisor leadership and risk management techniques, making driver compensation fairer, and revisiting HOS policies may represent high-leverage targets for improving regulatory compliance and safety outcomes.
... Not surprisingly, the proportion of commercial drivers in North America experiencing job strain (40%) is more than double that of workers in other sectors (18%) [35], and this anxiety is probably exacerbated by the highly regulated nature of the industry, as well as by pressures from monitoring by electronic on-board recorders and ever-tighter medical standards that threaten driver disqualification. Because anxiety reduces peripheral stimuli detection and increases distraction, occupational stress results in task distractibility and has been associated with higher incidence of accidents among drivers [36,37]. ...
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Long-haul truck drivers in North America function in a work context marked by excess physical and psychological workload, erratic schedules, disrupted sleep patterns, extreme time pressures, and these factors' far-reaching consequences. These work-induced stressors are connected with excess risk for cardiometabolic disease, certain cancers, and musculoskeletal and sleep disorders, as well as highway crashes, which in turn exert enormous financial burdens on trucking and warehousing companies, governments and healthcare systems, along with working people within the sector. This article: 1) delineates the unique work environment of long-haul truckers, describing their work characteristics and duties; (2) discusses the health hazards of long-haul trucking that impact drivers, the general population, and trucking enterprises, examining how this work context induces, sustains, and exacerbates these hazards; and (3) proposes comprehensive, multi-level strategies with potential to protect and promote the health, safety, and well-being of truckers, while reducing adverse consequences for companies and highway safety.
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