FMCSA Provides Guidance to Truck Drivers to Prevent Fatigued Driving
There is no doubt that truck drivers in Palmdale and throughout the United States work extremely hard to do the important work of moving goods and products throughout the country and onto consumer shelves. Truck driving is a difficult and physically taxing job, requiring drivers to work long hours, hop in and out of the truck and loading docks, navigate difficult roads and highways, and maintain the truck by putting on tire chains in cold weather and remaining vigilant about the truck’s condition. Indeed, truck drivers are the backbone of the transportation and logistics industry in the United States, and the work is often very hard and thankless.
Recognizing the dangers of commercial motor vehicle and truck driver fatigue on the job, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides guidance to truck drivers for how to stay away and alert on the job. That guidance includes:
- Make sure you are well-rested before driving the truck: the FMCSA advises avoiding driving “while your body is naturally drowsy, between the hours of 12 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.” The FMCSA notes that “drowsiness may impair a driver’s response time to potential hazards, increasing the chances of being in a crash.”
- Stick to a healthy diet: To combat truck driver fatigue, the FMCSA advises truck drivers to avoid skipping their meals while on the road and to maintain eating at regular times. The FMCSA also advises that truck drivers avoid going to sleep on an empty stomach, and to also avoid eating too much before bedtime.
- Take naps: The FMCSA encourages truck drivers to take a nap if they are feeling fatigued. Says the FMCSA, “naps should last a minimum of 10 minutes, but ideally a nap should last up to 45 minutes. Allow at least 15 minutes after waking to fully recover before starting to drive.”
- Avoid medication that may cause drowsiness: Medications may cause drowsiness as a side-effect. The FMCSA warns truck drivers to be careful when taking any medications while driving.
- Be aware of the warning signs of drowsiness: The FMCSA advises drivers that frequent yawning, the feeling of “heavy eyes”, and blurred vision are all signs of being fatigued or drowsy.
- Avoid practicing “alertness tricks” to stay awake: Some truck drivers may be tempted to “power through” fatigue, but that is where accidents can happen. The FMCSA notes that “hacks” such as “smoking, turning up the radio, drinking coffee, opening the window, and other ‘alertness tricks’ are not real cures for drowsiness and may give you a false sense of security.”
Help for Survivors of Truck Accidents in Palmdale
No matter how much guidance the FMCSA provides, truck driver fatigue is still out there, and it is a hazard to all drivers on the road. If you were injured in a truck accident in Palmdale due to the truck driver’s drowsiness, distracted driving, or other negligent conduct, you may be owed compensation for your injuries. Contact the Trevino Law Firm today to speak to an experienced Palmdale truck accident lawyer and learn about your rights and options to compensation today.
Serving injury victims throughout the Antelope Valley, including Lancaster as well as smaller communities like Littlerock and Lake Los Angeles.