Motor Carrier Safety Research

Over the last decade, Transport Canada’s Motor Carrier Division has been very active in terms of motor carrier safety research and development in support of programs and initiatives to address commercial driver fatigue and the contribution of human factors to motor carrier collisions. Amongst other initiatives, this R&D has led to the soon-to-be-deployed Canada-US North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP).

Driver Fatigue

It is widely understood that operator’s fatigue is a challenge in all modes of transportation. Because of its pivotal role in the Canadian transportation system, Transport Canada has a long tradition with regards to fatigue management in air, rail, marine and road transport.

Driver fatigue is a serious issue for general road users as well as it is for commercial vehicle drivers. Under the Motor Vehicle Transport Act, Transport Canada is responsible for the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations for extra-provincial motor carriers. However, while central to fatigue management, HOS rules should also be complemented by other non-prescriptive programs to be adopted by the industry on a voluntary basis.

Human Factors in Motor Carrier Safety

From 2008 to 2011, Transport Canada chaired CCMTA ’ Human Factors and Motor Carrier Safety Task Force. The main objective of the task force was to develop risk-based and scientifically sound strategies to address the driver errors that are responsible for more than 90% of heavy vehicle crashes. The main deliverable from this work is the Human Factor Report, a 309 pages document containing more than 45 recommendations based on more than 525 scientific papers. These recommendations are mainly aimed at addressing fatigue, distraction and high-risk driving.

The mandate of the task force was threefold: (1) review crash causation literature/databases to identify driver errors (2) formulate intervention leads from a purely scientific perspective, (3) review interventions and programs currently addressing those issues in Canada, (4) draft a global strategy for intervention.

The report can be accessed at the following link:

North American Fatigue Management Program

The NAFMP is available for free to every motor carrier in Canada and the United-states on a web platform. It includes training sessions tailored for various audiences (managers, drivers, dispatchers, even family members) on a wide array of topics, such as fatigue, fatigue management, napping guidelines, implementation of safety culture changes, fatigue detection technologies, biomathematical scheduling software, Obstructive Sleep Apnea screening and treatment strategies, etc.