Drivers who are tired shouldn’t be on the road at all. When the driver who is fatigued is a trucker, there is a good chance that negative events will occur. These professionals are expected to keep control of trucks that pull large trailers filled with cargo. Being too fatigued can lead them to make decisions that can put other lives at risk. This is something that shouldn’t occur because innocent people can be injured or killed.
In response to the need for truckers to be alert and able to drive for the duration of every shift, there are federal regulations on the books that dictate how long they can drive. These regulations are known as the Hours of Service regulations. Here are some important points to know about them:
- There is a limit of driving time per shift. There is also a limit to how many hours a trucker can drive if he or she is doing other work during the shift. There is also a rolling limit to how many hours the trucker can drive every seven or eight days. The only way that truckers can have the clock reset on any of these is to have time off that meets a minimum number of hours.
- Truckers who carry cargo can drive for up to 11 hours per shift. If they are doing other work, they can’t drive past the 14th hour on duty. A 10-hour off period is required to reset the clock.
- Drivers who are transporting people can drive up to 10 hours per shift. If they do other work, they can’t drive beyond the 15th hour on duty. An 8-hour rest period is required to reset the clock.
- The seven- and eight-day limit is the same for both types of truckers. A trucker can’t drive more than 60 hours in seven days or 70 hours in eight days. A 34-hour rest period is required to reset the rolling time limit.
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If you are injured in an accident with a semitruck, bus or other vehicle covered under the Hours of Service regulations, checking the number of hours the driver worked prior to the crash might be beneficial. It could be a primary component in your claim for compensation.
Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Summary of Hours of Service Regulations,” accessed Dec. 28, 2017
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