Trucker fatigue management is more complicated than most would imagine out there on the road when you have schedules to keep, delivery deadlines, vehicle maintenance, and cargo checks.
Driving drowsy is dangerous to the driver and others on the road. What’s more, the bigger the load, the more significant the possible damage.
However, many things can be made at least a little easier with planning. Sure, you cannot plan around loading and unloading. The shipper will get to you when they get to you. But you can plan a short sleeper berth time while you’re waiting.
Then, while they’re loading your truck, you can get out and walk around the truck and look at lights and reflectors to make sure they are working and clean. It’s too late to check tires and brake adjustments; you should have done that during your daily vehicle inspection report (DVIR), while there was a chance of getting maintenance to fix shortcoming, but you know that.
Anyway, that walk-around is also a chance to stretch and limber up for when they get you loaded, and you’ve got miles to burn before your next break. Of course, nothing says you can’t do that if you get a little drowsy out there on the road. Pull it over, take a quick 15-minute power nap, a walk-around the truck, and stretch. You can probably avoid dozing off just by doing a few seconds of stretching.
Fatigue Management Tips for the Night Before Your Trip
Here are some simple tips to help you avoid driving drowsy:
- Avoid alcohol the night before a trip
- Get a good night’s sleep before you head out
- Get up early, get a shower, and eat a light, healthy breakfast
- Try not to drive more than what you’re used to in a day, definitely not more than the 11 hours maximum FMCSA HOS rule
- Avoid night driving unless that is your routine; some drivers prefer the open roads at night with less traffic
- Schedule a break after two hours of driving; even it’s only a 15-minute power nap and a quick walk-around to stretch and wake up
- Share the driving whenever possible
When you start yawning and losing focus, these are two warning signs you need to pull over as soon as possible
Where to Get a Consultation with a Traffic Attorney for Roseville Traffic Court
Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, to schedule a free consultation about your traffic ticket. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
We handle overweight trucks, speeding, unsafe lane change, following too close, and many other traffic violations for truckers and charter bus drivers. We can also represent you at a DMV NOTS Hearing to get more leeway for NOTS points due to miles driven, or an impending suspension.
The 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf
The Transport Accident Commission article, Avoiding driver fatigue