There are five things you should never do while trucking: drinking or taking drugs (even prescription and over-the-counter medications, driving while ill or fatigued, driving too fast for the weather, texting, or driving too fast on steep grades. These five things are not in any order because you should never do these things, ever.
#1 — Drinking or Taking Drugs While Trucking
Most commercial drivers know this and stay away from either of these career-enders. However, many do not consider prescription drugs and even some over-the-counter medications as a problem.
Surprisingly, some of the leading causes of drowsiness while trucking is weight loss or diet pills, cough syrup, medication for high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. These symptoms can be compounded by mixing any of these with energy drinks and too much caffeine, which can cause anxiety.
The wise choice is to pull over immediately if you start to experience any abnormal feelings.
#2 — Trucking While Tired or Ill
Some drivers push the limits when trucking by thinking they can make it to the next rest stop. According to the CFR, Part 392.3, “Operating a CMV while ill or fatigued” will lead to a violation and ten CSA severity points.
These severity points can get boosted by a time-weight multiple of three when within 0-6 months of another violation in that BASICs category, and two within six months to a year. What’s more, the offense will stay on a driver’s PSP for three years. Those entries on your PSP could make it difficult or impossible to get a better paying job with another firm if terminated.
Besides, when you’re ill or tired, three things happen:
- Your reactions slow down
- Your ability to process information slows down
- Your mind is easily distracted
Just because you have an hour or two of driving time left, does not mean you should drive.
#3 — Driving Too Fast for the Weather
CA Vehicle Code 22350, Speed Laws, warns all drivers, “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather…” What is reasonable is up to the law enforcement officer when issuing the ticket, but might be different when looked at by a traffic court judge. Therefore, slowdown in weather that limits visibility or makes trucking hazardous. However, when faced with a traffic ticket, consult a traffic attorney.
#4 — Texting
Although texting is a never, ever will I ever do thing while trucking, using a cellphone should never, ever happen either. We’re talking about a $2,175 in collateral costs — just don’t do it!
#5 — Driving Too Fast Coming Down Steep Grades
This never do tip would seem obvious to most drivers. But occasionally you get behind schedule and think you can make it up by going down the Grapevine or Donner Pass a little faster than you should. This will allow you to get up the next grade quicker.
Well, for you novice truckers, this is not a good strategy. Use low gears to descend and if your brakes get hot, pull over and let them cool before proceeding.
Professional drivers do not mix prescription and non-prescription medications, drive tired or ill, slow down during inclement weather and on steep grades, and never, ever text.
Who Handles Trucking Tickets in Woodland?
Call Bigger & Harman at (661) 349-9300 whenever you get a traffic ticket or need assistance at a DMV Hearing. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
We can handle your traffic ticket in Woodland. We are traffic law attorneys; therefore, we know the traffic court judges and how they frequently rule on requests for reduced charges or dismissals. We cannot guarantee the judge will always rule in your favor. However, we have had a good deal of success because we know the correct wording for these documents.
We always use a flat rate to represent our clients so that you always know what it will cost.
Send us an email, email@example.com.
The Smart-trucking article, 7 Critical Mountain Driving Tips for Truck Drivers