Fatigue in the European Transport Industry, it’s covered by EU regulations, right?

Fatigue in the European Transport Industry still plays a large role in 25% of road accidents on EU roads. According to ETF statistics 60% of professional drivers are fatigued while driving, and 30% of European truck drivers have reported to have fallen asleep while driving.

So even though there are good regulations in place, why are there still so many accidents? The answer to that question is combatting fatigue is both an employer’s responsibility as well as the employee.

One of the most important regulations companies adhere to is the European Parliament Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 and EU Regulation 2020/1054. This regulation prioritises sufficient driver sleep as the key solution to the problem of fatigue related accidents and fatalities on the roads of Europe and is an important component of the worldwide Vision Zero programme for zero road fatalities by 2050.

The regulation has two elements

  1. The employer’s responsibility: ensure that the driver/worker has sufficient sleep opportunity time via shift scheduling and hours of service planning.
  2. The employee’s responsibility: ensure that he/she uses their sleep opportunity time to actually sleep.
    WOMBATT Fatigue Risk Management Flowchart

This means that the employer is restricted in set working and driving hours and making sure the plan for the day fits into the set hours, however the responsibility of fatigue is also a component that the driver has a significant role in. Aside from medical and sleeping disorders, the majority of us chose to sleep or not to sleep by prioritising other activities. The thing is most of us know we need to sleep enough, however if we all already did this, there wouldn’t be fatigue related accidents on our roads. This is why the regulation in place also points towards a driver responsibility, so how can you make sure that both ends of this regulation are being met in order for it to optimally reduce accidents within your fleet and on the European roads? 

The WOMBATT-VOZ mobile phone or tablet-based App is designed to fully support EU Parliament Reg EC 561/2006. The App allows the driver to either self-report sleep hours or report sleep time and quality via a smartwatch and self analyse current fatigue risk using the latest cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence voice analysis. The employer can see immediately and in real time how well the employee has used their sleep opportunity time, and can immediately view estimates of their immediate fatigue risk status up to 5 hours ahead with up to 90% accuracy.

Data: sleep obtained (self-reported or via a WOMBATT connected smart watch – Fitbit) and current fatigue risk status for the next 5 hours based on voice analysis

Action a: upon analysis of high fatigue risk, the driver/worker and controller/supervisor work together to plan a safe place where the driver can be swapped out with a rested driver/worker, or take a 20 minutes power nap. The only solution to lack of sleep is sleep.

Action b: WOMBATT has designed a full day of training for both management and workers to educate both on how plant workers, drivers and office workers can ensure sufficient quantity and quality of sleep, advice on making lifestyle adaptations, guidance on essential changes to diet and training in the importance of adequate sleep to both long term health and present safety.


Result: both the truck driver and other road users stay safe. In the US, 72% of fatalities involving large trucks are occupants of the OTHER vehicle

Benefits – lower accident costs, lower insurance costs, safer and healthier employees, better productivity and a happy Union representative.

Together we can make Vision Zero for driver’s fatigue possible much sooner than 2050. Are you ready to make the next step towards Zero accidents due to Fatigue in the European Transport Industry? 


Fatigue Statistics Source: European Transport Federation 2021 Report 


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