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11-Hour Fatigue Rule

Aaron McHugh

My Uber driver in Iowa told him his story. He said that the reason he drove for Uber was that of the “11-hour fatigue rule”. He drives a big-rig diesel truck back and forth to Iowa City four or five days each week. After eleven hours of driving the union mandates that drivers are too physically and emotionally fatigued and for safety purposes, restrict from driving for twelve hours.

Yes, that means that my Uber driver drives a sixteen wheeler all day and then goes and picks up shifts with Uber and Lyft. I guess he loves caffeine.

Specific industries, airlines, railroads, and trucking have a mandatory fatigue maximum for their employees. On the receiving end, we are grateful to have a pilot who is well slept and free of chemical substances in his blood stream.

In the corporate world, there is no fatigue limit. Fatigue limits are well documented, with quantifiable proof on our impaired judgment and clarity. Effectively fatigue has the same effect as two glasses of wine. I find it very interesting that fatigue is rarely a part of corporate culture vocabulary.

The reason unions govern workplace requirements is that it is all too easy for progress to prevail over personal wellness. I’m not advocating for unions, I am an advocate of realistic limits that account for the adverse effects of excessive amounts of work on individuals. Stress, anxiety, high-blood pressure, obesity are all contributed to by exceeding the 11-hour fatigue rule.

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