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Driving home whilst fatigued

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Driving home whilst fatigued

Old 16th Oct 2018, 22:48
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Driving home whilst fatigued

Wondering how the law stands if one was involved in a car accident following a max FDP duty? Would car insurance policies remain valid? Where do airlines stand regarding liability?
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Old 16th Oct 2018, 23:48
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Can be done for driving without due care and attention.

My mate who used to be traffic police pulled a pilot over once who they thought was drunk because he was all over the road. He was on his way home after being awake for 20 hrs and although the police canít really do anything he gave advice saying if you were to have a serious accident they can use the fact you have been awake against you.

Word your statement carefully is my advice in that situation.

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Old 17th Oct 2018, 05:01
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I’d say be careful, especially if you’ve extended the duty day beyond the norm, e.g. by use of captain’s discretion. Certainly if you are driving in the U.K. and looking for a legal precedent you might want to look up the Great Heck (or Selby) rail disaster.

The court decided that the road vehicle driver whose actions led to that accident was driving whilst sleep deprived - he got a 5 years prison sentence.
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Old 17th Oct 2018, 06:06
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File a fatigue report and get a Taxi on the Companies ticket.

I realize this probably isn't an option for many, but if it is, use it!
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Old 17th Oct 2018, 09:49
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I worked for many years on the roads.

Unlike aviation the road enforcement and regs don’t make such a fuss to seperate out tiredness is tolerable but it’s fatigue that is bad. They just draw the line at tiredness (hence those tiredness can kill matrix signs). You’re either in a fit state and alert or not. Certainly on the HGV side of things for example. The muddied waters between fatigue and tiredness get out clause wasn’t something DVSA and Police were interested in.

If you have a smash causing harm and there was evidence you chose to drive whilst not alert due lack of lack of sleep then you could be prosecuted. You don’t have to fall asleep and crash to be prosecuted either. They can try and fit you for driving without care or attention if you’re wandering about the road a little. Forget airline liability. When it comes to the driving it’s down to the plant pot behind the wheel. Up to you if you drive when not fit. That’s the way the law lot look at it.

A artic driver on the M60 fell asleep due lack of decent nights kip, crossed the central reservation and took out several vehicles. He was convicted of death by dangerous driving and a large amount of the evidence relied on his lack of sleep 4 hours prior to work due staying up late (which he admitted in interview).

You can land a jet from a trans Atlantic with predictably nothing but pitiful rest from a 24 hour layover (perhaps two hours before pick up 10 hours before landing) and a merely out the gates and up the road be pulled over in your car to find traffic enforcement take a different view than FTLs of what’s a safe amount of sleep before operating machinery.

Besides all that blab anyway, you don’t want to have a incident so don’t try and press on. We’ve all had the nodding donkey scares once in our lives. Just ain’t worth it! I used to kip in the services up the road on the way home from trips but kept sleeping through my alarm and getting tickets . Found a lay-by instead ha. A nap of an hour or two and plenty of coffee and an open window. I always then pulled over for another snooze if felt getting weary again. Switch on a really bad radio station like that hideous radio 2 and that even more annoying Jeremy Wine. You’ll be so annoyed at the utter dross coming out of the speakers you’ll stay right awake!

Ill be damned having long since left working on the road I’ll be killed on the roads as a result of an airline
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Old 17th Oct 2018, 10:28
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Been there done the nodding dog bit & the rumble strip wake up, now the cost of my renting a room within a few minutes drive of the airport may seem expensive but it’s better than being dead.
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Old 17th Oct 2018, 12:23
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Mr X I put it to you that you caused the accident because you were tired after a night duty.......
Well I was within European legislative safety limits to land a jumbo jet so it seems logical that I could drive a Ford Fiesta. My employer tells me if Iím within those limits I canít be tired. 😎

EASA FTLs work both ways ( possibly)

But Iím with Keith getting lodgings is better than being dead.
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Old 17th Oct 2018, 13:22
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That would always be my defence too. Most of my stupidly long days tend to be escaping base rather than getting home and 95% of the time I would be legal to be flying still as I pull up at home.

Might help bring the ridiculousness of EASA home when lorry drivers get more rest than we do!
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Old 17th Oct 2018, 13:46
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The driver of the Land Rover that caused the Great Heck rail crash in 2001 was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving when his phone records proved he had hardly slept the night before the accident.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Heck_rail_crash
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Old 17th Oct 2018, 19:52
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I'm with A and C on this one. There is no cost that is too high. If and when needed I pay for hotel, get proper rest, and then make my way home to the family.

CP
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Old 17th Oct 2018, 20:17
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Originally Posted by Jwscud View Post
That would always be my defence too. Most of my stupidly long days tend to be escaping base rather than getting home and 95% of the time I would be legal to be flying still as I pull up at home.

Might help bring the ridiculousness of EASA home when lorry drivers get more rest than we do!
Jwscud
Sorry don't agree. Lorry drivers are driving on their own, they don't have ATC helping them (well unless you think the satnav is the same), the don't have the automation Pilots have, they work longer hours in general. The biggest risk for crew members is the drive home as you could be dealing with your own sleepiness or someone driving at you.
EASA has put onus on crew members responsibilities and that as many posters have highlighted is forking out for accommodation if a commuter or if tired. Some responsible AOC's now provide accommodation at base for such purposes or crew members can ask for Company assistance (being mindful its probably seen by the tax man as a taxable benefit)
If my memory serves me right EASA home base rest is the same as CAP371.
The other thing i'd point out is if your tired don't pull into a lay-by - go somewhere where someone cannot fall asleep and plough into you.
Comparing Pilots v Lorry drivers in my view not a great idea. And wireless I like your views on fatigue and tiredness - the sleepy scientists call it "sleepyness" its a shame many just tag onto the F word.

Last edited by Mr Angry from Purley; 17th Oct 2018 at 20:18. Reason: spelling
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Old 17th Oct 2018, 20:21
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Yes I should add the lay by I used was an off road one with minimal chance of being struck. Don’t park in those road adjacent lay-bys.
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Old 17th Oct 2018, 20:57
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If you have to drive for a considerable time ALONE while fatigued, what's been described above as the nodding-donkey syndrome can sometimes be alleviated by favourite radio programmes or CDs. For example, I was once revived almost instantly by an album of Monty Python sketches I hadn't heard in years. Problem is: if you're doing it regularly, you may run out of stuff you haven't heard recently...

Then you must obviously stop at the first available safe parking area (note the previous post), preferably a motorway service area. I subscribe to the theory that a 20-minute nap is the best tactic, as in a multi-crew cockpit, because any longer will lead to you waking up feeling very uncomfortable and too sleepy to drive competently. However, you may be tempted to keep pressing the "snooze" button, which is not a good idea.

The trick to waking up refreshed after a short nap may lie in what I heard recently, but haven't tried out. As soon as you are safely parked, obtain and drink a fairly strong (by your own standards) coffee or other caffeine drink. Then set your alarm and crash out to sleep immediately. The caffeine will not affect your ability to go to sleep, because it takes time to kick-in, but it will certainly help to wake you up after about 20 minutes. Let me know if it works!
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 12:57
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My last company (household name loco) took the view/were advised to take the view that after a max discretion duty or if the crewmember reported fatigued at the end of a duty accommodation would be provided on the basis of due care. There was never a problem with the max discretion bit as it so seldom occcurred and when it did few wanted anything but their own bed and declined it no matter how tired they were. No one I ever heard of reported fatigued as this would have brought on (percieved) trouble in the follow-up (esp true for cc.)

Thus the protection from legal comeback cost the company absolutely nothing apart from the appearance of giving a concession to aircrew, something they were always extremely reluctant to do.
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 13:33
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With the company liability thing. I don’t want to defend them.

But I think looking at it this way. They see it as your normal place of work. How you get to and from it is your ballywhack. In their eyes no different from a factory worker on night shift.

The big question could be, do they leave you at the end of the shift in no fit state to practically (the word being practically) travel anywhere? Well, ha ha. That’s leaning on an open door, and I think we all know the reality is, particularly after LH when you’re based a drive away..... errr! But you can see the can of worms with that one. If they’re leaving you in such a poor state at the end of a duty they see fit to provide a hotel or accept liability for road accidents it would beg the question of how could 30 mins before you be fit to be in duty during landing? The firm I work for do have a “dark room” at the base. A creepy place where you can sleep on flat chairs to the sound of multiple snoring. I’ve used it once or twice. Twice was enough. I still have the nightmares. I still have the scars. Never again Horace...

So in the eyes of everything, “you’re on your own mate”. I’m sure there’s been a few test cases in other work roles where this has cropped up though. But I’d forget about firm liability in a practical sense. Likely to be least of your worries if you have a prang. Look out for number 1 and take some kip.

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Old 18th Oct 2018, 14:03
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Originally Posted by Wireless View Post
They see it as your normal place of work. How you get to and from it is your ballywhack. In their eyes no different from a factory worker on night shift.


If you worked a rostered/planned shift then I can see the parallel with the "clock on, clock off" factory worker. OTOH once you've extended your shift, especially if it's well beyond what was planned then I think the parallels might fail.

FWIW we also have a couple of scary snoring rooms behind crew report area but if we have extended our planned duty day significantly (and certainly if you have gone into captain's discretion) then hotel rooms are made available.,
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 14:50
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A and C sums it up. If you chose to drive incredible distances following duty any fatigue accident will be down to you. Losing one job at LGW I got another up at Birmingham. I rented a small place a few miles from the new base and only drove home when rested.
.....and before a report I drove up early and took rest.
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 15:34
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Originally Posted by wiggy View Post
If you worked a rostered/planned shift then I can see the parallel with the "clock on, clock off" factory worker. OTOH once you've extended your shift, especially if it's well beyond what was planned then I think the parallels might fail.

FWIW we also have a couple of scary snoring rooms behind crew report area but if we have extended our planned duty day significantly (and certainly if you have gone into captain's discretion) then hotel rooms are made available.,
Yes, that aspect is a very good point and must admit did occur to me after I posted. But by that point I was bringing the dustbin back in

Iím never gracing those rooms again after what happened . Interesting to know re the hotel.
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 16:18
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A certain Middle Eastern airline has the answer - they provide Captain and First Officer (and cabin crew) with 'chauffeured' company transport to and from work for each duty, including simulator sessions. This helps to compensate them for their 100-110 hour monthly rosters. Luxury you may think........... until you realise the poor under-payed, over-worked drivers of the company cars are at least as fatigued as the over-worked pilots!
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Old 18th Oct 2018, 16:51
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Thatíd be great for all the crew having to move to Crawley! ;-)
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