Fatigue is the result of physical or mental exertion that impairs performance. Driver fatigue may be due to a lack of adequate sleep, extended work hours, strenuous work or non-work activities, or a combination of other factors.The Large Truck Crash Causation Study conducted by the FMCSA and the NHTSA reported that 13 percent of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers were considered to have been fatigued at the time of their crash.
Pay attention: Indicators of drowsiness include: frequent yawning, heavy eyes, and blurred vision.
Do not rely on “Alertness Tricks” to keep you awake. Behaviors such as smoking, turning up the radio, drinking coffee and opening the window, are not real cures for drowsiness and may give you a false sense of security.
Did You Know?Excessive intake of caffeine can cause insomnia, headaches, irritability, and nervousness.
Did You Know?A recent study conducted to determine the risk of having a safety-critical event are highest during the first hour of driving. Drivers may be affected by sleep inertia shortly after waking from sleep. This may be especially true for drivers who sleep in the sleeper berth. Sleep inertia refers to impairment in a variety of performance tasks, including short-term memory, vigilance, cognitive functioning, reaction time, and ability to resist sleep.
In other words, it is important to make sure to get enough sleep, and give yourself time to wake up before driving.
Driver distraction is the diversion of attention from activities critical for safe driving to a competing activity. Driver distraction increases your risk of getting into a crash.
Distractions can come from both inside and outside of your truck cab. Distractions inside of your cab can include dialing cell phones, texting, using dispatching devices, eating, reading, or adjusting the radio. Distractions outside of your cab can include looking at a passing building, billboard, or person. One way to think about distraction is to ask yourself if something is drawing your attention and taking your eyes away from the road ahead of you. If the answer is “yes,” it is probably a distraction.
A study found that 71 percent of large-truck crashes occurred when the truck driver was doing something besides driving the truck. Staying focused on driving can help keep you, and other road users, safe on the road!
Railway Crossing: 7 Steps for Safety
Approach with care: Warn others that you are slowing down. Turn on 4-way flashers.
Look and Listen: roll down windows and turn off the radio. Bend forward to see around mirrors and pillars.
Prepare to stop: slow down. If you must, stop at least 15 feet, but not more than 50 feet from the nearest rail.
If it won’t fit, don’t commit: Trains extend beyond the width of the rails at least 3 feet on each side. Remember your vehicle – and cargo – overhang.
Look again: before you move, look again in both directions.
Cross tracks with care: use the highest gear that lets you cross without shifting.
Keep going once you start: never stop on the tracks. Make sure there’s room before you move.
Know Your ABS Is Working!
Always confirm your ABS is working—see your ABS lamp(s) turn on then off when power is applied.
When ABS is working properly, each time the vehicle ignition switch is turned on and kept in the on position, the ABS indicator lamps will turn on for a few seconds and then turn off. If the lamp does not come on at all, there could be a problem with the indicator lamp, the wiring, or the ABS controller. When an ABS malfunction is detected, the ABS indicator lamp stays on. If no malfunctions are detected, the lamp turns off after a few seconds.
ABS on trailers also receives backup power through the brake lamp circuit. In some cases, with certain types of malfunctions, this can cause the ABS indicator lamp to turn on each time the brake is applied. While the ABS may be partially working in this condition, it is not working properly. Whenever the ABS indicator lamp turns on while you are driving, there is an ABS malfunction present requiring repair. Make sure you have any ABS problems fixed as quickly as possible. Remember, if the lamp does not work you will never know if the ABS stops working.
A vehicle equipped with ABS helps you maintain steering control and avoid skidding, jackknifing and trailer swing-out during emergency or slippery road surface braking situations. When you apply the brakes, the ABS senses when a wheel is about to lock and releases just enough brake force to get the wheel rolling again while maintaining as much braking force on the wheel as possible. It may repeat this sequence several times a second and may control each wheel differently, helping to keep the vehicle in control.
Watch for Obstacles from Above
Did you miss a turn, or realize you must make a decision to turn around?
Finding a location to do so, pulling a 53 ft trailer, can be difficult at times.
One choice drivers make is a convenient store, or corner local gas station.
Remember, these are NOT TRUCK STOPS.
Do not go under a canopy unless you know the height rating, or ask the manager if needed. Also watch for low hanging wires, tree limbs, utility poles, and obstacles you cannot get around.
Think of the low bridge, or overpass.
You wouldn’t go under a low overpass without knowing the clearance would you?
Preferably, do not go into a convenience store or non-semi-truck parking lot. Just like backing, don’t do it, unless you have to and can do so safely.
Also, when backing, do not look at just the rear of the trailer, or near the bottom of the mirror. Double check the top of the mirror too!
Always be aware of overhead obstacles: Low bridges, canopies, wires, sides of roofs, and overhangs.
Stop, put your four-ways on, and Get Out And Look!
Driver’s Daily Checklist
√ Log Legal
√ Pre-Trip, Enroute, and Post Trip Inspect every day
√ Drive Safely
√ Tire Check & Walk Around every 150 miles or 3 hours (whichever comes first)
√ Assure you and the equipment are in good, working condition
√ Keep a safe following distance
√ Keep a safe speed
√ Obey all posted traffic signs
√ Never assume, always anticipate
√ Be a professional day in and day out
The October 2017 edition of the Super Service Newsletter is now available!