It is easy to feel intimidated when you see a large semi-truck or tractor-trailer driving past you on San Diego’s roads and freeways. The massive size of these vehicles all but guarantees that any accident they are a part of will cause extensive damage. Yet you likely take some comfort from the knowledge that truck drivers (for the most part) are highly skilled in the operation of their vehicles.
However, no amount of skill can make up for the dangers posed by drowsy driving. Given the long hours they are on the road, it may be easy for truck drivers to become fatigued.
Preventing truck driver drowsiness
In an effort to limit the potential of having fatigued truck drivers on the road, federal lawmakers mandate that they follow strict guidelines when it comes to the number of hours they can work in a given week (and during a single shift). According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these guidelines dictate that truckers do not driver more than:
- 11 consecutive hours during a single shift
- Eight consecutive hours without taking a 30-minute break
- 60-70 during a workweek
In addition, a truck driver cannot drive beyond the fourteenth consecutive hour during a shift even after taking break times and rest periods into account. They would first need to take 10 consecutive hours off duty in order to restart their shift.
Spotting a drowsy truck driver
Still, after experiencing a truck accident, it is unlikely you will get a truck driver to admit that fatigue was a factor. Fortunately for you, truckers must maintain service logs detailing their work hours. A review of those logs should show if they had adhered to these hours-of-service regulations. Not maintaining such a log might imply an indifference towards these standards.