For many truckers, their job requires them to travel hundreds of miles every day to deliver product to destinations in a timely manner. However, because of the pressures and demands of the industry, many truckers irrationally minimize the need for sleep and try to cram as much driving as they can into a designated period. Illinois truckers who are proactive about getting enough rest and vigilant about recognizing the signs of fatigue can keep themselves safer. As a result, other motorists around them are at less risk of injury as well.
The New York Times reports that according to federal law, truckers are required to take a 30-minute break each day during their driving time. They are also not allowed to drive longer than 11 hours in a day. However, many truckers still continue to drive even after they begin to feel fatigued which poses a dangerous threat to themselves and all other drivers around them.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides truck drivers with several simple and helpful tips to incorporate into their routine to avoid becoming dangerously fatigued. These tips include the following:
- Consuming healthy foods and maintaining a consistent meal schedule.
- Understanding what personal signs indicate they are getting tired.
- Taking proper breaks and naps as needed, and making sure they get enough rest before leaving on a long trip.
- Avoiding the consumption of any medications that increase drowsiness.
Drivers should never falsely believe they can combat fatigue by relying on “tricks” to stay alert. Some of these tricks include eating, smoking and turning up the radio. As soon as a trucker recognizes fatigue, he should immediately take a break.