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Old 08-24-2019, 12:18 PM   #99
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Driver fatigue

I share your thoughts on the lunch/ snacks/dinner in rest areas/ restaurants. Every stop, I have made it a practice to get out and take a walk around the motorhome/toad. It is beneficial to too check everything plus the act of moving about is important to me. It gets me out of the setditary position of driving gets the blood moving.
This all helps, but once you start becoming fatigued it is temporary reprieve. It is best to stop.

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Old 08-24-2019, 12:43 PM   #100
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LANDKPART2,, Hi, I've followed this thread since the beginning,, and all the folks have given some excellent suggestions as well as personal experience. Here's my suggestion,,,, read thru the posting's and pick out the one(s) that you feel are most beneficial to your situation, or to those posters you feel comfortable with, and start a private dialogue with them,, make them your mentor / friend to communicate with, somebody you can buzz and chat with and talk about your daily experiences. MVHO


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Old 08-24-2019, 02:34 PM   #101
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Seems a little defensive, Jim. Did someone ruffle some feathers?

Hours of service have a direct impact on operator performance, whether in a car, RV, aircraft or commercial truck. The only thing the federal government can regulate are those transport modes used in interstate commerce so that's what will happen.

I agree that most non-commercial drivers, drivers without training, drivers who simply don't pay attention - are the reasons for the vast majority of wrecks (note I didn't say "accidents"). I don't automatically blame commercial drivers and the ambulance chasing, TV-advertising lawyers are going after the low hanging fruit (incidents that are cheaper for the insurance company to settle than to litigate) and the relatively small number of legitimate claims for death, disability, and income losses to surviving family. The TV ads blow this stuff way out of proportion.

What I think is missing in your list of stuff is the impact of hours of service on the wrecks where the commercial operator IS at fault, and the NTSB has data on these. The NTSB is an investigative and advisory board, though, and can only recommend regulatory changes to the NHTSA or other appropriate regulatory agency or suggest statutory changes to Congress.

Part of the reason for emphasis on hours of service is because (in theory) it's a controllable thing - regs say "no" after certain conditions are met. The reality is that drivers have a couple of incentives to ignore HOS: their income increases (the miles add up over a year), and the threat of termination if they don't meet a deadline or otherwise anger their dispatcher. You already know this, so the comment is for those playing along at home.

I just spent 30 minutes down the U-t00b rabbit hole, watching road rage and 'bad trucker' videos. Most of the bad trucker vids involved inappropriate risk taking or driving/drivers who appeared to be fatigued or seriously distracted/impaired. The road rage vids seemed to feature the most arrogant, clueless, distracted, and entitled car drivers to every get behind the wheel. It's surprising there aren't more wrecks.

I also agree that it's far too easy to get and keep a DL in the USA. More training, a practical skills test required for periodic renewals, etc would be rational. We need to approach distracted driving with the same tenacity that MADD used to get DUI laws, enforcement and penalties changed in many jurisdictions.

Originally Posted by jturner9 View Post
There is always an exception to the rules or statements made but ?? Rant starting now.

Truckers are not perfect and a very few small number of them should not be out there but can I say this oh and a lot more.

To the misinformed people who make it out to be the trucking industries fault or a politicians fault. Way to much blame to go around and most is with the American public itself.

It is very tragic that carriers and drivers across this country are saddled with guilt and blame for many crashes they could do nothing to prevent.

The University of Michigan studied 8,309 fatal car-truck crashes to determine fault. 81 percent of the time, car drivers were assigned at fault, and 27 percent for truck drivers.

Let me add some more so that folks can be a little more informed. Our great National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studied 10,092 fatal accidents, and guess what? Cars were responsible 91 percent of the time during head-on crashes, 91 percent of the time in opposite-direction head on , sideswipes, 71 percent of rear-end crashes and 77 percent of same-direction sideswipes.

Can you say TEXTING?

These number of accidents are getting worse each year as to the number or trucks and cars on the highways grows.

The fact is with cameras in the tucks now recording the accidents has proven a majority Americans driving cars have little to no clue at all how to drive safely with trucks on the same road. For years truckers and companies were sued by CHASER lawyers because it was easy to do so. Now it has all changed due to the cameras. That lawyer sends a letter he is sewing for his client. The lawyer is then shown the trucks video and goes away fast, case dropped.

The crash numbers are going up on trucks and have been for a while as the numbers of trucks increases.
All the high tech stuff such as automatic emergency braking, following to close warning and breaking systems ,lane departure warning and cameras that see behind the truck are becoming standard on newer trucks now helping the drivers become safer. With all of this new safety stuff the percentages may start going down even as the numbers of trucks and cars goes up. Time will tell.

The truck numbers on the roads are going up as Americans cry for free shipping on items and lower cost shipping for their online buying habits increases. The economy doing so well ( while a good thing in most cases ) doesn't help.

The main cures for this is what most Americans will not accept.

Start placing some of the same safety restrictions and laws on the American car, and RV drivers . Watch how the accident numbers drop so very fast.

Just like they cried when the subject of taking the phones off line while driving was cried about until it was dropped. Texting while driving is rampant and gets worse law or no law. Turn it off and watch the numbers get better over night.

I know a 1000 and 1 excuses would fly out there over night, but Americans need to be in school and taught to drive .

A lot of countries make you go to school 6 months and teach you all about being safe in a car . ( Germany for example ) It cost a ton more to do this but the lives saved are priceless.

Heck they don't even teach people how to parallel park in most states now. To many were failing that part of the test. They just couldn't grasp it. So what do or government officials do. They do away with that part of the test. It's just to hard for them. Now some of these very people are driving RV's and towing trailers. As some folks are saying now days OMG!!

They should at least be made to sit through the videos of what happens when cars and RV's get involved with that tractor trailers. They would learn a new respect for the fact they are always going to lose the battle and truck drivers are not always going to be able to help them out when they get stupid.

Americans for the most part talk about safe driving ,but have no clue. Truckers spend a lot of time and money learning to be safe out there. They don't spend a few days in some RV industries feel good class. Can you imagine if they did? Class A and B RV drivers should be made to do the same. The vehicle has a class and the people driving them should have a class licenses to drive them. Include school,and DOT physicals ( lot of CPAP machines will be sold then LOL ) and take a DOT DMV road test just like truckers do. They too should be held to safe road standards just like trucks are. After all they weigh a lot more than any car does also. They would be included in the weigh station inspections stops and the such. Pulling a toad means get a additional tandems trailer endorsement added to the class A just like truckers have to do.

What would that do? Make the RV driver more accountable for what he or she does . Make them safer than they already think they are.

Americans in a car will continue to run on the roads until till road death tolls become the number 1 killer twice over anything else. Were Americans and we love the freedoms that a car brings us.

At least the RV'er and trucker will know they have done all they can do to be safe out there.

I could go on with my little rant , but will stop now.

Just stop blaming truckers for all your bad own the road driving habits please. Truckers are not perfect , but statistics show your differently not near the drivers they are. RELAXED RULES OR NOT !

Jim T

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Old 08-24-2019, 02:51 PM   #102
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Good luck. Any legislator that decided to stop texting ability ~~ shutting down phone~~,would be out of a job. If it would not have been distracting I’d have taken a picture of the semi driver reading a newspaper doing 70 or more on the interstate. I’ll agree, cars cause more of the wrecks but there is fault on both. Like in anything, experience is the best training until people get too over confident. Road rage, impairment, fatigued, there is a whole list. Maybe one day we will set the gps and go to sleep and the roads will be safer.
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Old 08-24-2019, 03:34 PM   #103
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Nobody wants to end up crashed.
Marathon driver or not.
Setting time goals ?
Setting Miles goals ?
Texting or not.

Drive cautiously

Drive defensively

Be alert

Be aware.

I pray the occupants of this coach survived.

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Old 08-24-2019, 05:58 PM   #104
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I forgot to mention our best tool for fatigue. We will put on a good book on the sound system. It helps keep you alert and long driving days don't seem so long.
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Old 08-24-2019, 07:08 PM   #105
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Lots of good advise. I have been tired after driving 2 hours and not tired after driving 24+. I find a lot of it has to do with mental prep and realistic expectations.

I do best when driving alone. The DW and I often find ourselves in the circumstance she is has gone ahead or lags behind at either our NY or FL home. I take the RV by myself and find it is a much easier trip just getting in, well prepped, and just driving. I get myself mentally prepared days ahead of time. I keep everything I will need right next to me. I find the key is not eating or drinking a lot before or when in route. I have run NY to FL quite a few times non-stop or with a short 2 to 3 hour nap. When the DW is with me she wants to stop way to often which makes me excessively tired, so much so I find I can not drive much more than 8 to 9 hours in a day. When alone 16 to 19 hours these days is fairly easy and I find puling off even after that amount of time that I am not even tired.

The way it works for me is I find all the stopping, eating, resting just tires me right out. You could be stopping way to often and not putting in enough hours per day. There really is something to knowing you're going try to get X amount of hours or miles in, in a day then "working" at achieving that goal.
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Old 08-24-2019, 07:24 PM   #106
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I hope not but it sounds like the OP may have some health issues if he is fatigued after 2 or 3 hours every couple of days. before I retired I did at least 600 miles every day and some days a lot more 12 to 14 hours were the norm. I can still do 12 hours without any problems when it is necessary. but a bout 350 miles is my normal travel day now
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Old 08-24-2019, 07:49 PM   #107
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I have to agree. When alone 11 hours is easy. With my wife 8 is all I can handle.
Oh, and on the audiobook suggestion, glad it works for some but that one would put me to sleep. My wife listens to them with a good pair of buds and I’ll sing along with Buffett or the 60s, 50s, or listen to the news. Satellite radio is best for me with lots of presets than are voice regulated.
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Old 08-25-2019, 12:34 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by LandKPart2 View Post
Before starting this thread I did a search of the forum and didn't come up with any discussions relating to driver fatigue. If I'm in fact duplicating or beating a dead horse, my apologies.

We (me, mostly) drive a 2012 Newmar Ventana 3433 and have been full time for around three months now. We've camped our way from Seattle to our current site in Interlochen Michigan.

We try to limit our days to two or three hours actual driving at the most. Even with that I find myself arriving at the campground fatigued and a bit wrung out.

So I started thinking about all that goes on while driving a 35 foot, 28,000 pound vehicle. A non-RV driver might think all one did was sit in big comfy leather seats while blissfully sailing down the road without a care in the world. I wish that were so...

Consider the multi-tasking involved:

Maintaining your scan of road, mirrors, gauges, navigation and back again. Maintaining lane position. Dealing with wind gusts, exits, turns, merging and "what was that sound?!?" Now add in small town streets. Traffic. Finding the campground entrance and finally getting parked.

No wonder fatigue becomes a factor.

My questions to the group are, what warning signs of fatigue do you notice? What strategies do you use to combat fatigue? Do you notice deterioration of driving skills?

We build in lunch stops at interstate rest stops or large empty parking lots. 30 minutes minimum. That seems to help, but still, by the end of the day its definitely martini time!

The biggest warning signs of fatigue that I encounter is difficulty staying in my lane or I become "zoned out" to where I feel my reaction time is diminishing. Once I hit this point I know it's time to at a minimum STOP. Likely best to just hit the bed for the night too. Now sleep isn't necessarily always possible at every moment, especially when you have reservations for a campground and another 100 miles to go. The last 100 always seems to be a struggle.

I find the best thing I can do at this point is to stop for a quick break to stretch my legs, use the restroom, get a drink (caffeine), etc. Once I'm moving again, the best things I've found to keep me awake is to talk my wife, maybe blast some music if everyone else is asleep, and keep the driver window cracked open to get some airflow across my face.
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Old 08-27-2019, 01:42 PM   #109
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Very interesting post and timely for us. We are planning our first long trip (~3300 mi) and I have been planning our route. Most driving will be interstate avg 350 mi/travel day. The last two are closer to 500. I am figuring an avg of 50 mph to calculate travel time. Sounds like from these posts this is “doable”, right? Hoping to stop for two day RV driving school for both of us midway through trip so I can learn to drive and not depend totally on DH. He has experience, but 95% has been 3-4 hr drive or less towing 27’ TT. Definitely taking note of all suggestions. Looking forward to the time when we are BOTH retired and have freedom to travel on our own schedule.
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Old 08-27-2019, 05:57 PM   #110
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In 66 years of driving on public roads, never have I made contact any object or with another vehicle. Actually, I'm an excellent driver. What else do you need to know?
I have suffered injuries from racing motorcycles and racecars, on racetracks. I learned to fly when I was still in high school, and have been flying since. I've handled many emergencies, but never crashed an airplane.
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Old 08-27-2019, 06:09 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by Cloud Dancer View Post
"Actually, I'm an excellent driver."
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:58 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by PaulnDeb View Post
Very interesting post and timely for us. We are planning our first long trip (~3300 mi) and I have been planning our route. Most driving will be interstate avg 350 mi/travel day. The last two are closer to 500. I am figuring an avg of 50 mph to calculate travel time. Sounds like from these posts this is “doable”, right? Hoping to stop for two day RV driving school for both of us midway through trip so I can learn to drive and not depend totally on DH. He has experience, but 95% has been 3-4 hr drive or less towing 27’ TT. Definitely taking note of all suggestions. Looking forward to the time when we are BOTH retired and have freedom to travel on our own schedule.
We always figured 50 mph allowing for rest stop, maybe fuel, lunch or traffic. 300 was the max for us but preferred 200-250. Sometimes only 50 or so!

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