Falling asleep at the wheel can be a big issue for truck drivers – especially when driving at night.
Iovany Reyes has been driving trucks for more than a decade. He says if you stick to the rules of driving for long periods of time, you should be fine.
“Especially when you’re driving at night, you can get really tired,” he says. “When you get tired, you have to pull over because it’s better to pull over, get a rest than having an accident with a big truck.”
That’s what happened overnight in Hanover County. Police believe the driver of a tractor trailer fell asleep at the wheel, ran off the side of the road and overturned early Friday morning – spilling 76,000 pounds of oranges.
“He should’ve rest, he should’ve rest,” Reyes says. “If you rest, you don’t get into accidents.”
That’s why last year, new regulations were passed limiting the number of hours truck drivers can spend on the road. The most they can drive is 11 hours, but they have to take a 30-minute break after the first eight.
“After about three hours, I usually start getting tired,” says truck driver Leroy Allison. “And I take a break and pull over somewhere for 15 minutes or something.”
The law also requires drivers to keep a logbook.
“Every time that you stop, you have to log it and write down the town and the stay and all that stuff,” Reyes says.
And although fatigue is a concern, most these drivers worry about the other drivers on the road.
“My advice for the people in the cars, if you are passing a truck, do it quickly,” he says. “I mean, don’t stay side by side with the truck because you never know what could happen.”
Another reason that logbook is important is that if drivers do get in an accident, police will look at that to make sure they got the necessary rest.
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond