Driver fatigue, how to handle it?

Written by Lucas Gulino,

Fatigue is a reality that affects all drivers; especially commercial vehicle drivers who are exposed to long hours on the road and even in extreme conditions like bad traffic and/or weather.
How does one prevent fatigue and be effective in your daily work as well as outside? We tried to answer this question.

Driving Hours and Fatigue

The European Commission has set the maximum driving time at 9 hours daily, or 56 hours a week. Then, when a driver is on the road for 4 hours and 30 minutes, it is imperative for them to take a break of at least 45 minutes to prevent fatigue.

In the United States, the FMCSA hours of service (HOS) rules are designed to eliminate the type of drowsiness that can lead to crashes. The federal hours-of-service rules do not specifically limit the distance that can be driven in one day, but they do limit the number of hours that can be spent driving, as follows: Drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMYs) are limited to 11 hours of driving after having 10 consecutive hours off duty.

When some truck drivers drive for three or four hours, others will be tired after one to two. Our opinion is that it is important to ask “what is a state of fatigue” to determine when it is appropriate to stop.

Good to know

Some drivers interviewed think they are tired when they yawn and have difficulty keeping their eyes open. These two reactions are already signs of fatigue! When your concentration goes down, you're struggling to find a comfortable position, or stopping to look in your mirrors, it's important to stop and rest. Take the time to take a break, stretch your legs and why not take a nap!

Importance of planning

Good planning is not only helpful in making your time more efficient and making the customer happy, it can also save your life! So, when you plan your trip, do not forget to take into account your rest periods, possible changes of traffic conditions, or weather changes that affect your fatigue!

Good planning also makes a safer and more enjoyable journey.

Equipment for drivers

Whether the driver makes his drive nationally or internationally, after driving long hours, the operator can meet different weather elements. This can be ideal when the rain changes into sunshine, but sometimes the driver encounters snow, freezing rain, or black ice. In this case, Onspot is a real benefit for commercial vehicle drivers because in extreme winter cases, drivers stay in the cab and just have to engage the switch to benefit from extra traction, and reduced fatigue!

Fatigue can also be reduced in winter by some tips! Check out our guide with 5 tips and tricks for efficient driving when winter weather strikes!

5 ways to improve performance in slippery conditions


Truck driver safety improve performance on slippery roads

Lucas Gulino

About Lucas Gulino

Lucas is part of the Onspot sales team and is based in France. He studied sales and received a national diploma in a 2 year program. Lucas discovered Onspot when he was completing a 3 year program focused on trading and customer relationships, ultimately receiving a higher technician diploma in this area of study. Lucas has worked at Onspot since 2014 and he is passionate about the industry and its associated marketing strategies. Lucas is a lover of wine and travel. When he is not at work, you may find him in a restaurant or coffee shop in his hometown of Metz.
Lucas fait partie de l'équipe de vente Onspot et est basé en France. Il a étudié la vente et obtenu un diplôme national dans le cadre d'un programme de deux ans. Lucas a découvert Onspot alors qu'il achevait un programme de trois ans axé sur le commerce et les relations avec la clientèle, obtenant finalement un diplôme de technicien supérieur dans ce domaine d'étude. Lucas travaille chez Onspot depuis 2014 et se passionne pour le secteur de l'industrie et les stratégies marketing associées. Lucas est un amoureux du vin et des voyages. Quand il n'est pas au travail, vous pouvez le trouver dans un restaurant ou un café dans sa ville natale de Metz.


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