Asleep at the Wheel

By: Ryan Dearbone Email
By: Ryan Dearbone Email

A preliminary investigation found the driver, Abraham Parker fell asleep at the wheel causing the bus to run off I- 65 and hit an overpass support.

This has left many people questioning how long Parker had been driving without sleep and what are the rules drivers need to follow when out on the road.

There are certain regulations charter bus drivers must follow to stay safe on the road, resting being the main one.

Drivers are required to get enough rest before they hit the road and should not exceed a certain numbers of hours behind the wheel.

"A driver can only drive ten hours. He can be on duty for a total of 15 hours, but he cannot drive more than ten hours," said Rick Gipson, owner of Komfort Koaches bus company.

Gipson said that drivers going on trips 600 miles or more must either have a second driver on the bus with them to trade off driving duties, or there should be a second driver waiting for the charter bus hours into the trip.

He said exhaustion is something that can affect the driver's ability to focus.

"He's no different than anybody else. He's got to sleep and he's got to eat," Gipson reminded.

All driver's must also fill out two kind of logs before and during the trips so their employers know exactly how much rest the drivers are getting.

One log requires a driver to tell how many hours of labor they had in the past week before coming in to drive. The second log keeps a detailed time line of every move the drivers make while on the road. These logs are then turned over to their supervisors and the federal government.

"A driver's log is scrutinized by us and the Department of Transportation. The Department of Transportation can come in anytime and go through our records," Gipson said.

He said accidents like the one on June 25, 2007, has made the federal government continue to tighten up on following these logs.

Gipson said the federal government also requires all bus company's to conduct safety meetings every few months

They are subject to random audits by the government to make sure their drivers are complying with the system.


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