TTSAO Training Tip – Driver Fatigue

This week’s Tip of the Week takes a different direction.

When training, we need to speak to our students or drivers about fatigue. Fatigue has the negative effect of draining a person’s ability to be attentive, alert and responsive to road conditions.

Many experienced drivers will tell you that they only need five to six hours of sleep while in the sleeper or at home. Studies by the FMCSA and CCMTA confirm that the driver should be getting seven or more hours; this is where the off time for sleeping comes in at eight or 10 hours, depending on which side of the border you are on.

The need to refresh one’s brain with proper rest is vital to safe, reasoned driving. An alert and rested driver can make clear decisions quickly and without deviation. This is the safe way to handle the vehicle and does not allow for miscalculations or over reactions.

Proper trip planning comes into the equation here, where the driver is not overextending themselves to get to a destination. When accidents or construction slow the progress for a trip, the driver needs to realize that a proposed destination might not be attainable, and they should contact dispatch instead of running to the point of exhaustion.

A term that is often used for this is Fatigue Fog. This Fog may fool the driver into not recognizing where to exit the highway, if they are scaling a mountain instead of going downhill, or missing road signs that need to be read. Each of these details may turn a normally safe road into a quagmire for the driver and make everyone less safe.

Avoid the Fog by getting rest and taking breaks when necessary. No one is handed a gold star simply for driving eight hours straight. Here are some tips to remain fresh while out on the road:

  • Crack open a window to allow for fresh air.
  • Listen to talk radio instead of music.
  • Eat fresh vegetables instead of sweets.
  • Pull over, take a nap if tired, 30-45 minutes helps.
  • Continuous eye movement, don’t get locked in.

Make Fatigue Fog a never sighted phenomenon. Take these small suggestions to help your students and drivers to be safe and successful on the road.

Remember our catchphrase for the year 2024: training, training, training.

Calling all Instructors and TTSAO Acreddited Schools

We invite you to submit your training tips to share in next week’s Training Tip of the Week. Your participation and offerings will truly benefit all our students, and we greatly appreciate your support. Thank you!


Membership in the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario can be of great benefit to you, whether you provide commercial driver training, employ drivers, or are in some other segment of the transportation industry. Join our association today to become part of this team of professionals whose goal is to improve and unify truck driver training standards, resulting in highly skilled, better prepared, entry-level and re-certified commercial drivers.

Scroll to Top