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Health, Saftey & Wellness - Driver Fatigue

Tired driver

Road Safety- Driver Fatigue

According to CDC fatigue can result when you do not get enough sleep or do not get quality sleep. It can impair your driving, similar to alcohol impairment.

What causes fatigue?

  • Staying awake for consecutive hours
  • Not getting enough sleep over numerous days
  • The time of day, your body has a sleep/wake cycle which tells you when to be alert and when it’s time to sleep. The urge to sleep is the most intense in the early morning hours.
  • Repetitive tasks or long periods of inactivity
  • Health factors such as sleep disorders or medications that cause drowsiness

What can you do to prevent driver fatigue?

  • Ensure you get enough sleep (7-9 hours each day).
  • Plan your activities outside work to allow enough time for adequate sleep.
  • Create a sleeping environment that helps you sleep well: a dark, quiet, cool room with no electronics.
  • If you feel fatigued while driving: pull over, drink a cup of coffee, and take a 15-30 minute nap before continuing. The effects are only temporary – the only “cure” for fatigue is sleep.

No amount of experience, motivation, or professionalism can overcome your body’s biological need to sleep.

If you have questions, concerns or any occupational health & safety inquiries, please email ohsmohawk@mohawkcollege.ca


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, February 27). Newsroom feature: Driver fatigue. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/newsroom/feature/driverfatigue.html#:~:text=If%20you%20feel%20fatigued%20while,workers%20for%20signs%20of%20fatigue.