Commercial driving can be an excellent way to make money and support a family. The problem is being on the road a lot can lead to fatigue and crashes. Here's all you need to know about driver fatigue and what you can do as a commercial driver to protect yourself and others on the road.
Know the Facts
At least 15% of crashes are caused by commercial truckers due to fatigue. It's easy to make mistakes or not be in control of the powerful vehicle. By knowing this fact, you can be more proactive at avoiding driver fatigue and knowing the signs.
An accident with a truck is much more dangerous than any other vehicle. While you may be safe within the powerhouse, the size and force someone else will be hit with is enough to cause serious harm and death.
Drowsy Driving Signs
Driver fatigue can hit anyone who is tired. Even if you've been on the road safely for the last decade, you may find that it hits you and a crash occurs.
One of the most common signs to look out for is lack of concentration. You know that as you get tired, you find it hard to keep your eyes on the road. You're less likely to take in the signs and traffic lights, as you focus on just getting to your destination.
Heavy eyelids and consistent yawning are dangerous signs. You've gotten to the point now where you run the risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Reactions will be slower, and you may not make the best judgment calls when it comes to road decisions.
Know the Law
There are various state and federal laws surrounding commercial driving to help prevent fatigue and limit the potential damage. These are on top of the regular driving laws.
Truckers cannot be "on duty" for more than 14 hours within one 24-hour period, and you must be "off duty" for 10 hours between those 14-hour stints. You also need to have a 30-minute break every eight hours that you drive.
These laws may be annoying and lead to fewer deliveries in a day, but they are there to keep you and everyone else safe. Just because you only need to legally have a 30-minute break, doesn't mean you can't have longer or stop more often than every eight hours. You're the driver, and you're responsible to make the call if you are too tired.
Know the warning signs and what you can do to prevent driver fatigue. This will help you prevent an accident when you drive a commercial vehicle, such as a truck. Contact a business, such as Powers Law, for more information.