|Authors:||Astrid Helene Amundsen, Fridulv Sagberg|
Research has demonstrated impaired driving performance with increasing driving time. About one-half of truck-drivers in one study reported episodes of falling asleep while driving. The crash risk tends to increase with driving time, especially after 9-11 hours. The amount and quality of sleep before driving seems to have a stronger effect than driving time on performance and risk. There is a clear scientific rationale for regulating resting and driving periods. Violations of hours of service regulations are frequent, too short rest periods between working periods being an especially common violation. Low compliance seems to be partly due to complex regulations. Harmonization across countries concerning interpretation of the regulations, tolerance levels, and sanctions, as well as increased level of surveillance is likely to result in increased compliance and safety. The role of transport companies in promoting safe driving should also be focused.