As many of you know I am an avid twitter user I tweet trucker related news, as well as weather, and travel delays too. Yesterday, I posted a link to a story about an overturned semi in South Carolina, it happened at 04:30 AM. I received an @ reply message saying they hoped the driver was OK, and that they hoped the driver was not driving drowsy.
Here is something for the readers of this blog that are not truck drivers to think about. The next time you get in your car in the early morning hours, after you have had a good nights sleep in your own house and in your own bed. You back out of your drive-way and go down the road towards your eight hour job. When you pull out onto a busy road, interstate, etc. and you see one of the many tractor trailers driving on the same road. Stop and think for a second that driver might have been driving all night and is tired.
The simple way to look at this, without getting too technical is that truck drivers are allowed to drive for eleven hours. The law does not say that is driving during the daylight only. It is eleven hours whether it is of the night or during the day. So think about this, when you sit down to supper with your family a truck driver is just starting his or her eleven hour shift. When you get ready to go to bed in your house to sleep, a truck driver has been driving and is still driving. When you get up and get ready to go to work and you are driving, that same driver may still be driving.
Trucking does not have a schedule, it happens at any time or anywhere. Truck drivers are always tired, just for the simple fact they do not get to go to bed at the same time every day or night. Sometimes they may only get a short nap, and must get right back up and hit the road. Of course they are driving drowsy, this is something that will never change. No matter what laws are put in place.
I keep seeing people say truckers need their “proper rest.” There is nothing proper in trucking. There are parking issues, so drivers have to keep rolling. There are shipping schedules that mess with truckers all the time, traffic delays happen all the time. These are factors that lead up to drowsy driving, truckers no matter how hard they push something will always happen to delay them. Which puts them behind, causing them to have to push that much harder.
I learned years ago that in trucking you as a driver cannot plan anything. Something can and will happen to your plan every time. People who have never been in or around the trucking industry need to realize this. So to all you people out there that have the eight to five jobs, who go home every night and sleep in your own bed at the same time every night. I want you to think about that the next time you decide to cut a truck off. Or you are running late and speeding down the highway in the left lane “yakking on the phone” only to realize your exit is right there and you cut across three lanes of traffic to get on the exit.
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