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Truckers sleep less than you think, even with mandated breaks

The government mandates that truckers take a certain amount of time off. This is to keep them from being overworked and driving while they're tired.

Some truckers break these rules and falsify their logs, but that's not the only issue. One driver explained how even the breaks they got turned into far less sleep than they needed.

For instance, he noted that truckers will often have to set aside 10 hours. This is to give them time to shower, eat and sleep.

He pointed out that many truckers start their break when they arrive for a pick-up and/or drop off. They may have just driven the maximum allotted time to get there, so the 10 hours have to begin.

However, they're not necessarily free to sleep right away. They may have to stay awake and wait for the loading and unloading to finish. He pointed out that it could take as long as four hours. The trucker isn't working, but he or she definitely isn't sleeping.

After the loading and unloading, the trucker has to get a meal. He or she may try to shower and get cleaned up. That could all take another half hour. Plus, the driver has to find a place to legally park the truck for the night, even when using a sleeper cab. That can be hard at specific times, and it could add on another half hour or more.

As you can see, that 10-hour break is now down to five hours, and that's with no time to do anything else. If anything doesn't go smoothly -- say there is a long wait for food or the trucker can't find a parking spot -- it gets cut back toward four hours.

Tired truckers have slow reaction times and are more prone to mistakes that cause accidents. Those who are injured may need to seek financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more.

Source: Trucking Truth, "The Sleep Cycle of a Truck Driver - It Doesn't Exist," accessed Nov. 02, 2017

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