Paul Aasen is President of the Minnesota Safety Council.

Autumn means harvest season, and that means more harvest drivers are on the roads putting in long hours. Minnesota Safety Council President Paul Aasen said on the KMRS Community Connection program that tired drivers lead to unsafe driving practices.

“We’re on the front edge of harvest season. We’re going to have people out driving trucks for 8, 10, 12, 16 hours per day — maybe more through harvest season,” said Aasen. “That means drivers are going to be fatigued. There are ways to manage that fatigue, ways to manage who you have driving when, to try to reduce the risk. But a tired driver is much more likely to wander around than a driver fully alert.”

Aasen said already having fast moving vehicles sharing roads with slow moving farm machinery is a “dangerous mix.” He said his agency is closely monitoring the progress of self-driving vehicle technologies, which he said shows “great promise” from a safety perspective and is something that is going to be gradually phased into our driving culture.

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