of the National Transportation Safety Board this week warned
that fatigue remains a primary cause of serious accidents in
all modes of transportation and emphasized the "collective
responsibility" of all vehicle operators to combat fatigue.
Marion Blakey's comments were made as part of National Sleep
Awareness Week (April 1-7) to raise public awareness that vehicle
operators need to be well rested.
times and throughout all modes of transportation, our investigations
have found that lost sleep equals lost lives," said Blakey.
noted that proper sleep is especially critical on the nation's
highways. "Each year, highway crashes cause the most transportation-related
fatalities," Blakey said. "Of these crashes, recent
research shows 100,000 of them involved 'drowsy driving' and
resulted in 1,500 fatalities."
NTSB study of government efforts to address the fatigue issue
found that, despite a number of initiatives, little progress
had been made in revising regulations to incorporate the latest
research on sleep issues.
can do more to stem the fatalities, injuries and property damage
that result from operators who should be in bed rather than
behind the wheel," Blakey said. She emphasized the agency's
recommendations that the U.S. Transportation Department and
its modal agencies establish scientifically-based hours-of-service
regulations that reasonably limit duty hours and provide adequate
time for rest.
are a nation on the move 24 hours a day and this increasingly
exposes all of us to the dangers of operator fatigue, not only
when we travel but also where we live, work and play,"
said Blakey. "Combating fatigue is not just a problem for
government or for the pilot, ship's officer, train engineer
or truckdriver, it is the collective responsibility of each
and every person who operates a vehicle."