Are you interested in becoming a truck driver or improving your current CDL job? If so, you may have a lot of questions, including where and how often you’ll need to sleep. If you plan to make any long hauls, you’ll need to learn how to get the rest you need while on the road. The last thing a safe driver wants to do is deprive their self of sleep and become a danger on the road. At Duncan and Son safety is top priority, here are our answers to those pervasive questions: “How long can truckers legally drive without sleeping?” and “Where do truck drivers sleep?”
Common Sleeping Destinations for Drivers
Have you ever driven by a truck stop and seen dozens of trucks in staggered rows, powered down, and silent in the moonlight? Many truck drivers plan their drives so they can sleep at truck stops along their delivery routes. While some drivers might stop by a hotel or motel overnight, many choose to sleep in their trucks at truck stops, rest stops, or other quiet areas where parking is allowed. If you plan to sleep in your truck and are looking for ways to maximize sleep quality, here are a few tried-and-true suggestions from truckers like you:
Use a mattress topper to maximize comfort
Find a safe, quiet place to park your truck
Avoid caffeine and heavy meals in the hours leading up to your planned sleep/nap time
Use foam earplugs to block the noise of traffic while you slumber
Perhaps the most important piece of advice is to pull over whenever you’re sleepy, even if you can’t make it to your planned destination. It’s much better to take a quick 30-minute catnap when you need it than to risk driving drowsy.
Truck Driver Sleeping Recommendations and Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) specifies that drivers must not drive longer than 11 hours after being off duty for 10 consecutive hours. They must also refrain from driving beyond the 14th consecutive hour after returning to duty (this includes time spent on pre-trips, fueling, post-trips, and unloads).
These rules make it easier for CDL drivers to get adequate rest, but it’s ultimately up to each driver to ensure that he or she gets the sleep required for safe driving. Most adults 18 years and older need at least seven hours of sleep to be fully alert during the day, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Because fatigue is the principal factor in 31 percent of fatal-to-the-driver crashes according to the National Transportation Safety Board, the importance of adequate rest can’t be over-emphasized.
If you have more safety questions or want information on our rewarding CDL employment opportunities in the Phoenix and Los Angeles areas, contact Duncan & Son Lines, Inc. by calling 623-234-2775.