September 23, 2021

NIOSH Study to Focus on Reducing Fatigue Among Taxi Drivers

A new research project proposed by NIOSH would focus on reducing fatigue among taxi drivers. The project would involve the development of a fatigue management elearning training tool designed for taxi drivers, ride-sourcing drivers, and other drivers for hire. A second part of the study would evaluate the effectiveness of the training tool.

“Fatigue is a significant contributor to transportation-related injuries, most notably among shift workers,” the Federal Register notice outlining the project explains. “Such work schedules and inadequate sleep likely contribute to health issues and injuries among taxi drivers, who experience a roadway fatality rate 3.5 times higher than all civilian workers and had the highest rate of nonfatal work-related motor vehicle injuries treated in emergency departments.”

Researchers plan to study the effectiveness of the newly developed training alone compared with the effectiveness of the training when paired with a wrist-worn device that provides personalized daily fatigue scores. The wristband “actigraphs” worn by participants would measure sleep/wake cycles and assess individuals’ fatigue levels, prompting drivers to reflect on their fitness to drive and act accordingly. NIOSH’s proposed study would involve approximately 500 participants. Researchers’ goal would be to inform drivers for hire of the risks associated with shift work and long work hours and evaluate strategies for drivers to reduce these risks.

Interested individuals can provide comments about this proposed project until Nov. 16. More information about the study can be found in the Federal Register.

Related:By the Numbers” in the January 2020 issue of The Synergist focused on driver fatigue.