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The dangers of fatigue for truckers and others on the road

On New Mexico highways, commercial trucks are among the most dangerous vehicles due to their size in comparison to other vehicles. If something goes wrong and if you as the trucker have not met safety standards, the consequences can be severe. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 13 percent of all commercial vehicle drivers reported fatigue before a crash.

Driver fatigue causes slower reaction time and less attention to the roads. Tiredness and fatigue can be caused by a number of reasons related to your job. When you log long hours or are under extreme stress, it can lead to drowsiness behind the wheel.

Even experienced drivers can wind up prone to fatigue on the road. Federal regulations limit the amount of time that a commercial driver can drive per week. After 10 hours off-duty, you can drive for 11 hours maximum. Regulations attempt to force drivers to get enough sleep so that they are not a danger to other drivers.

Required breaks

When scheduled routes last for miles, it can wear down drivers and lead to serious accidents with other vehicles. There are legal repercussions for truckers who do not follow the regulations.

Throughout your drive, you are supposed to take breaks periodically. For instance, truckers cannot drive more than 70 hours for eight consecutive days. If you drive for eight hours or fewer, you must have an off-duty period for at least 30 minutes. When a trucker does not follow these regulations, it puts other vehicles and themselves at risk of an accident.

Always check your company’s regulations to be sure you understand them and correctly meet them during all of your trips.