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How ‘Hours of Service’ regulations attempt to prevent truck accidents

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2021 | Truck Accidents

Anyone who drives a commercial truck must follow state and federal guidelines regarding the number of hours spent on the road. These guidelines are in place to keep other drivers safe.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Hours of Service regulations outline the maximum drive time commercial truck drivers can operate their vehicles during a single shift. The goal of these regulations is to prevent accidents caused by drowsy truck drivers.

Daily and weekly driving limits

Drivers hauling property in their commercial trucks may only drive for 11 consecutive hours after having 10 consecutive hours off. Those who carry passengers can only drive for 10 hours after 8 hours off. For both types of drivers, there is a required 14- and 15-hour on-duty limit, respectively, after which they cannot operate their vehicles.

Truck drivers may only be at the wheel for 60 hours in a seven-day workweek. If their work weeks are eight days long, they may drive for 70 hours. Drivers must then take 34 hours of consecutive time off before beginning another seven- or eight-day workweek.

Required breaks

Commercial truck drivers must take a 30-minute break when they have been on the road for eight cumulative hours. This break does not have to be sleeping, but simply involves any non-driving time that adds up to 30 minutes.

Truck drivers who violate the Hours of Service regulations can face serious consequences, including fines and liability for truck accidents they may have caused. If you have been involved in a truck accident, we offer vigorous legal representation in personal injury cases.