Perhaps the most tragic aspect of Virginia trucking accidents that are caused by fatigue is that the vast majority of these crashes are absolutely preventable. How can truck drivers take steps to make certain that they don’t fall asleep behind the wheel? Here are six tips:
- Follow federal trucking regulations. This may seem simple, but a significant number of truck drivers find ways to break the rules and ignore the driving limits. Following basic regulations is the best and easiest way to prevent driving while fatigued.
- Keep accurate logbooks. Don’t add an extra few minutes here or therein fact, don’t falsify your log for any reason, even if you know it’s possible. Your logbook is there to make sure you are safe and that you keep other people safe.
- Be sure to rest when you are off the clock. Even if you follow all of the rules, you will be driving while fatigued if you spend your time off in an unwise way. Make sure to get enough sleep and to rest both your body and your mind.
- Put safety before money. Yes, you can make more money if you break the rules. However, you may lose your entire career if you cause a serious truck accident because you fell asleep behind the wheel. Over the long term, it is better for your trucking career to play by the rules.
- Pull over when you feel fatigued. Just because you aren’t legally obligated to take a break after a certain number of hours doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. If you are showing the signs of driving while fatigued, pull over as soon as possible to prevent an accident.
- Map out rest stops on your route. Plan your route before you leave so that you know the best places to stop and the best resources for truckers. Be sure to stop regularly to eat, sleep, and take breaks—and be sure to take a break before an especially long stretch of highway or interstate.