The road can be a dangerous place for any driver. However, truck drivers have an added weight of responsibility when they are transporting goods across the country due to the sheer size of their vehicle. Six main factors highlight risks involved with driving trucks.
Poor Cargo Loading
As a truck driver, you need to make sure you load your cargo properly for several reasons. For one, it’s essential that a semi-truck doesn’t weigh too much, which is why you must stop at weigh stations during a long haul. The contents of the cargo could also be hazardous to other drivers on the road if the load isn’t properly secured. The load can shift, especially on a tight turn, and cause a rollover.
A truck driver who hasn’t undergone proper training could also be responsible for accidents on the road. Truck drivers learn to load their cargo properly and make sure their vehicle isn’t overweight, but they also need to be able to properly operate it. Even a careful passenger car driver can recognize skilled an unskilled truck drivers.
There are instances when a semi-truck driver might be rushing to make a delivery to avoid losing their job, following bad scheduling, or delays at the shipping dock. Because of this, they might speed on the road. Traveling at high speeds with a semi-truck is very dangerous and is another common cause of semi-truck accidents.
Being a truck driver is no easy task, and being on the road for long periods of time can lead to fatigue, which can increase the risk of accident. To avoid fatigue, truck drivers need to make it a habit of getting out of their seat and moving around at truck stops to stretch their legs. Adequate sleep is also crucial for truck drivers to be in a good state to drive.
Drowsy Driving Rules for Commercial Truck Drivers
(From the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) according to the law firm Wayne Wright in San Antonio, Texas)
Daily limits. Drivers are prohibited from driving more than 11 hours in one day, and must take at least one 30-minute break from driving within the first eight hours of their shift.
Weekly maximum. Truckers are now able to work a maximum of 70 hours in a single week (7 day-period).
Days off. After a trucker has completed a 70-hour workweek, he or she must rest for at least 34 hours before starting a new workweek. This mandatory resting period must include at least two periods of sleep at night, between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.
Like any driver on the road, a trucker can also become involved in a crash caused by distractions. Long hauls can be boring and result in truck drivers being distracted by technology, food, or something else entirely. Distractions can cause serious harm and damage on the road, which is why truck drivers must remain focused whenever they are driving. There are even law firms with television commercials that highlight seeking damages for truck drivers that have crashed while watching videos while driving.
Driving while impaired, under the influence of drugs or alcohol can also have devastating results for many on the roads. Some truck drivers might use drugs to stay awake on the road, but this can handicap their ability to drive. Some healthy alternatives to be alert on a long haul would be to eat a healthy diet and be well-rested before driving.
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