Not having healthy sleep habits can affect how safely people do their jobs. It is especially important for truck drivers to be well-rested. Truck driver fatigue can be fatal for other drivers on the road.
Planning rest breaks
Truck drivers must follow Department of Transportation (DOT) rules with respect to rest breaks when they are on the road. For example, after 10 consecutive hours off duty, a truck driver has a 14-hour window to complete his or her driving for the day.
When a truck driver fails to take required rest breaks, their reaction times may slow. They may even fall asleep at the wheel. By planning routes and taking breaks on a regular schedule, truck drivers can feel recharged and more alert.
Keeping a logbook
It is both useful and required for truck drivers to keep a logbook of rest breaks. Planning routes around a consistent sleep schedule with a target number of hours off duty can prevent drowsiness on the road. Keeping accurate driving logs also holds drivers accountable.
There are many ways an experienced attorney can determine if driver logbooks are accurate. For example, does the driver logbook show that the driver passing a tollway at the same time he or she was supposedly sleeping? Do fuel and food receipts match up with the rest breaks recorded in the logbook? Failing to follow DOT regulations with respect to rest breaks can create significant liability for the truck driver and trucking company if there is a serious accident.