Thursday, March 17, 2005

Truck Drivers Should Grab the Wheel When it Comes to Sleep Management

While the new hours-of-service rules for commercial drivers are "absolutely necessary," they're not enough to fully manage the constant risk of fatigue faced by drivers, according to a sleep expert.

Mark Rosekind, Ph.D., founder, president and chief scientist of Cupertino, Calif.-based Alertness Solutions, a scientific consulting firm that addresses the safety and performance needs of 24-7 operations, says he applauds the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for making the first significant changes to the hours-of-service rules since 1939. The rules -- which were implemented in January 2004 but currently are under review by the agency -- create a work and rest schedule for commercial truck drivers that is more congruent with a person's biological rhythms and with the latest scientific research on sleep and fatigue, Rosekind says.

Nevertheless, the new rules (which, among other things, increased the minimum required off-duty time for drivers from 8 to 10 hours and decreased the maximum duty time from 15 to 14 hours) are not sufficient to manage the problem of fatigue faced by drivers, he adds.

Sleepy Driver - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

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