Long-haul truckers, you spend hours on the open road. You’re likely an expert on every truck stop between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. However, those hours start to mount, and they can wear you down if you don’t watch out.
Federal law governs how long truckers can work without stopping. These laws vary; however, they all serve a central purpose—safety. Truckers who find themselves facing a lack of self-care might put themselves in harm’s way.
Trucking Safety Laws Matter
By trucking, you transport cargo that belongs to another party. You also encounter other drivers of all shapes and sizes. Therefore, if you cannot safely drive, you put many more people than yourself in harm's way.
If you drive for too long, your risk of exhaustion increases. This exhaustion might lead to distraction, drowsiness and other negative side effects. That distraction could lead to wrecks or other property damage. It's a costly claim on your trucking insurance that you want to avoid.
The law recognizes how important it is for truckers to receive proper rest during their work. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates how long truckers can work without rest. Usually, standard driving times vary between 11 and 14 consecutive hours. When those limits pass, truckers must stop for a rest, or end their dispatch for the day. During their off hours, truckers can rejuvenate and relax. This can help them stay alert and keep themselves and others safer whenever they return to duty.
Staying Alert and Safe On the Road
Most truckers must follow commercial trucking rest laws. There are also steps truckers can take while still under dispatch to keep themselves alert and committed to their duty.
- Never use mobile or wireless devices while driving. Most states have laws that prohibit these practices.
- Take regular breaks throughout your dispatch. Spend some time at a reputable truck stop. Make sure you use the restroom, get something to eat, or take a nap as needed.
- Maintain a balanced dining and sleeping schedule while driving. You shouldn’t go without food or healthy hydration while you drive.
- Never consume alcohol or illegal drugs either immediately before or during your job.
- If you find yourself becoming tired, don't continue to drive. Find a place to relax where you will be safe.
Taking care of yourself during a dispatch is about more than just your own security. It’s about keeping others safe as well. Therefore, truckers shouldn’t neglect any statutes that limit how much or how long they work.
Learn more today. Call us at 478-788-9188 for more information on trucking insurance.