Emissions impacts on driver safety

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is concerned that truck drivers' exposure to high levels of air pollutants and mobile air toxics for potentially long periods of time, may lead to acute and/or long term cognitive impairments as a result. The goal of this project was to compile existing information addressing the following question: Does exposure to diesel exhaust at levels found in cabs affect driver safety performance by affecting driver sleep, alertness, reaction time, fatigue levels, or judgment-making abilities? To determine whether such an effect exists, the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center conducted expert interviews to obtain insight into the question and searched the environmental and medical literature. The results of these activities are reported here. The results of the expert interviews and literature search highlighted the fact that very little is known regarding the cognitive impact of exposure to diesel exhaust emissions. Certainly, the potential for an effect exists, but cognitive ability is generally confounded with other "lifestyle" factors for truck drivers (e.g., fatigue, shift work). Consequently, the question will be difficult to answer. Challenges for future research are identified.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 51p
  • Serial:
    • Issue Number: DOT-VNTSC-FMCSA-07-0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01387307
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 22 2012 10:19PM