Arrive Alive

Truck Stops & Road Safety

Truck Stops & Road SafetyBackground Information

A Truck Stop is an eating establishment, usually located near a busy road, with a large parking area for trucks and other heavy vehicles.

The stop usually offers a range of services for professional truck drivers to rest and refresh themselves, often with accommodation and other services available.

 

 

 

In South Africa, road traffic data indicates that:

  • There is a high rate of road crashes and one of the factors that have been identified as contributing to this problem is fatigue, and this includes truckers, especially with the distances they have to travel transporting goods.
  • There is a need for convenient, safe and comfortable truck stops on all major road freight routes around South Africa.

Research on Drowsiness / Driver Tiredness amongst Truck Drivers

Driver tiredness poses a significant risk to road safety - and several studies have indicated that this problem is experienced daily by Truck drivers

International Research:

  • In a study in the US, more than 36 per cent of truck drivers said that finding a rest area in which to park is a problem every night.
  • More than 80 per cent said that at least once a week, they continue to drive past the point of feeling "safe and alert" because they cannot find a place to stop and rest.
  • Factors which discouraged Truck Drivers from parking in public rest areas in New York included inadequate parking, enforcement of the two-hour parking limit, prostitution, lack of security, and poor or expensive food.
  • In a 1997 survey of 593 long-distance truck drivers randomly selected at private truck stops and public rest areas in New York, 25 per cent of the drivers said that at least once during the last year, they had fallen asleep while driving - and 17 per cent said it occurred on more than one occasion.

South African Research:

In South Africa a research study has been conducted by Nelisiwe Magubane & Mala Ramanna from the Interdisciplinary Accident Research Centre of KwaZulu -Natal on the topic “Truck Drivers and Road Crashes in South Africa” 

This study concluded amongst other findings:

  • Main problems experienced by truck drivers:  39% Fatigue related
  • Main causes of road crash: 41% fatigue related

The recommendations from this research include the following

The recommendations from this research include the following:

  • There should be government legislation that forces drivers to stop between 11 pm and 5 am for compulsory rest. Most drivers sleep for +-4hrs per 24hr.
  • Companies should allow drivers more family time. This will stop the use of prostitutes but also de-stress drivers.
  • More safe and clean truck stops are needed. Alternatively, along with the route, there should be lay-bys constructed with stadium lights and security so that drivers can sleep in relative safety. This is especially so on the N3 because drivers regard this national highway as dangerous.
  • Trucks should be fitted with communication devices, e.g. two-way radios. This can act as a mechanism to warn other drivers of possible hijacking situations or as a tool to ensure the safety of the truck and driver.
  • Almost all truck drivers are interested in participating in any government road safety strategy that will improve and promote their skill.
  • Drivers need to attend regular driver training courses to improve their skill as well as stop complacency. Further, there should be relevant training courses for truck drivers that carry specialized/ dangerous goods e.g. chemicals.

Related Resources:

HIV / Aids and Truck Drivers

  • The transfer of HIV/ Aids and sexually transmitted infections is a growing concern in the transport industry.
  • These threats can only be addressed by way of the partnerships of our society: government and the private sector; workers and management; transport operators and commuters.
  • Truck Stops can be an important part of the strategy to protect Truck Drivers against these and other illnesses and provide information on these risks

Related Resources:

Road Safety and Truck Stops

Transport Authorities, Truck Stops and Road Safety

  • At the opening of Engen Highway Junction on the 28th of May 1999, the Minister of Transport, Mac Maharaj, emphasized that the road freight sector and its associated stakeholders were the first business sectors in South Africa to forge ahead in a partnership with government, employers, unions and NGOs on board to tackle the crisis of road safety in the road freight industry.
  • In 2005 the Department of Transport launched the National Freight Logistics Strategy.
  • This Strategy addresses issues of “reducing the cost of logistics to the economy" and ensures "that social and economic objectives are met within the freight logistics systems".
  • The commitment to the National Freight Logistics Strategy was further strengthened with the official opening of the Ventersburg Truck Stop by Minister of Transport, Jeff Radebe on the 3rd of March 2006.
  • The government, via the Department of Transport (DoT) and the South African National Roads Agency Ltd (SANRAL), has initiated a programme whereby new truck stops are being built to improve truck transport efficiencies and driver job satisfaction, while simultaneously empowering local communities.
  • Nazir Ali, CEO of the South African National Road Agency reiterated that these Truck Stops represent a coming together of different departments of government to promote road safety and trucker rights.

Advantages/ Characteristics of modern Truck Stops

  • The best way to address driver fatigue/ driver tiredness by offering a good sleep
  • Security systems with cameras and lighting can prevent the threats of hijacking, theft etc
  • Increased sanitation with spotlessly clean ablution and shower facilities
  • High-quality food
  • An excellent venue to address HIV education
  • An opportunity to boost the local economy with a continuous stream of travellers passing through
  • Additional income for local business providing truckers with various necessary services including food and drink, groceries as well as truck repair and parts provision.
  • A Medical facility and medical care provide an opportunity for truck drivers to check HIV/AIDS and diabetes status and have their eyes tested."
  • These facilities may have phones so truckers can safely call families and conduct other business during their meal breaks
  • Modern Truck Stops have high-speed wireless internet access and an internet kiosk

It is envisaged that Trucks Stops will make a significant contribution to road safety in South Africa.

Loading...

Search Road Safety Articles

Latest Pages

Safe storage of chemicals vital to avoid disastrous fires

Safe storage of chemicals vital to avoid disastrous fires

In the wake of the disaster at the northern Chinese port of Tianjin, Deidré Penfold, executive director of Chemical and Allied Industries Association (CAIA), reiterates that proper chemical storage is required to minimise the hazards associated with leaks, spills and accidental mixing of incompatible

Read More

Toll Roads in South Africa

Toll Roads in South Africa

Why have toll roads? Roads form the main artery of economic competitiveness, growth and social development. To Build roads costs billions of rands. Toll roads assist us in meeting the demands of social services, which are important for the growth of our country. Toll roads accelerate the availability

Read More

Cracked Windshield, Safe Driving and the Law

Cracked Windshield, Safe Driving and the Law

Windscreen damage remains a hazard and reality experienced by all South African motorists. Although windshield damage can result from a variety of causes, the most common is flying rocks and debris cast off from loads of commercial trucks as well as debris projected from road surfaces under construction. We

Read More

Shatterprufe and Road Safety

Shatterprufe and Road Safety

In South Africa, most locally manufactured vehicles are fitted with an OE windscreen. The legislation also states that vehicle repairs should return the vehicle to its original state. Shatterprufe windscreens exceed SABS standards and are manufactured according to OE specifications. Shatterprufe also

Read More

Windscreen Diagnostics

Windscreen Diagnostics

On the Arrive Alive website, we find a detailed discussion on the importance of the windscreen for road safety. We emphasize the importance of visibility through the windscreen for the roadworthiness of the vehicle as well as the importance of the windscreen for the structural integrity of the car. It

Read More

Chip Repair and Windscreen Safety

Chip Repair and Windscreen Safety

Introduction Have you been driving with a small chip on your windscreen, fearful that it may expand into a running crack along with the windscreen? We decided to approach some of the experts for more information as to how and when such a chip can be repaired and when a windscreen would need to

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All