As a trucker, you have an obligation to obey the rules of the road, just like any driver. Big rigs also tend to be more dangerous to passenger vehicles.
According to Heavy Duty Trucking, the hours of service require truckers to have 10 hours off-duty before driving. It is up to you to ensure that you drive safely and that you do not drive while fatigued.
Does the hours of service prevent fatigue?
Ideally, you should sleep between seven and nine hours on your off-time. Unfortunately, you cannot always control when you sleep or how long you do. Medical conditions, wandering thoughts and general sleep disturbances can keep you from having a restful night’s sleep. When you do not have a full night’s sleep, it can result in drowsy driving.
Do you have to drive when tired?
You should never drive when you feel drowsy. Trucking culture sometimes stops drivers from admitting tiredness. If you feel tired, you should say so and take action. There are regulations that prohibit fleets from forcing you to work when tired or sick. When you admit tiredness, the company has to take you at your word and listen.
If tired, you should take a break. It might help to nap before your shift to increase your alertness on the drive. When driving, you should pay attention to the time of day and your personal circadian rhythm.
When it comes to driver fatigue, the best way to prevent an accident is to have a full night’s sleep and to listen to your body. In addition, there are technologies available that can measure the pupil and lane tracking devices that can help prevent accidents.