Fighting driver fatigue

ETF launches Day Against Driver Fatigue to address driver shortage and poor working condition

The European Transport Workers’ Federation will launch its very first Day Against Driver Fatigue on June 21st, the longest day of the year – because for professional drivers, every day is the longest day of the year!

The campaign aims to draw attention to the critical problem of driver fatigue in road transport, primarily caused by poor working conditions.

The issue of driver fatigue has become even more pressing in light of the ongoing shortage of professional drivers in Europe. The ETF believes that improving working conditions for drivers is essential to retaining and attracting new drivers to the profession and improving the well-being of professional drivers and road safety in general. Trade unions and collective bargaining play a critical role in raising standards and ensuring decent work in the road transport sector.

A 2021 study conducted by the ETF revealed that chronic fatigue is the norm for professional drivers across Europe. 2861 truck, bus and coach drivers in freight and passenger road transport gave the ETF direct insight into their harsh reality, with 60% of truck drivers and 66% of bus and coach drivers reporting that they had to drive while fatigued on a regular basis. The study found that poor working conditions, such as long working hours, irregular schedules, and insufficient rest breaks, primarily cause driver fatigue.

By marking June 21st as the Day Against Driver Fatigue, the ETF hopes to raise awareness of the issue and encourage employers and policymakers to take concrete measures.

Europe faces a systematic shortage of professional drivers due to a sector defined by low pay and poor working conditions. The only answer to the current crisis is moving the road transport sector to one where drivers are paid fairly and work under good conditions, protected by fair rules.

The ETF calls for action from policymakers, employers and governments to:

  • to guarantee fair wages – current extremely low wages force drivers to work longer hours to make a decent living
  • to ensure that drivers are remunerated for all work-related tasks, which is not always the case
  • to stop plans to make driving and rest time rules more flexible in passenger transport
  • to put eliminating driver fatigue at the core of the EU road safety strategies
  • to ensure that all rules regarding pay and working conditions are properly enforced
  • to ensure that derogations from rules are done by the book, and not to permanently extend drivers’ hours, keep them away from home and worsen rest conditions.

The ETF believes that this campaign will encourage action to address driver fatigue and improve working conditions for drivers, ultimately leading to a safer and more sustainable road transport sector.


ETF Driver Fatigue Study and Summary EN/DE/SLO/PL/CZ/IT/ES/FR/NL/RO

Background info about ETF’s Driver Fatigue Study, 2021