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What are truck driver hours-of-service regulations?

On Behalf of | May 22, 2020 | Truck Accidents

The many large semi-trucks and tractor-trailers you see on Stamford’s roads may already be intimidating. Imagine how much more frightening they might be to you (and others on the road around you) if operated by a drowsy driver.

To help prevent this from happening, federal regulations exist that dictate how long a truck driver can drive during a single shift (as well as a workweek). After a semi-truck collides with you, you should be able to ask the driver to produce their work logs to see if they were in compliance with these guidelines (or whether they maintained such logs at all, the absence of which could serve as an indictment on its own).

Detailing when a trucker can work

Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the hours-of-service regulations truckers must abide by are as follows:

  • No driving more than 60-70 hours during a 7-8 workweek (a time-off period of 36 consecutive hours re-starts the workweek)
  • No driving for more than eight consecutive hours without taking at least a 30-minute break
  • No driving for more than 11 hours during a single work shift (the driver must then take 10 consecutive hours off-duty before beginning a new shift)
  • No driving past the fourteenth consecutive hours after returning from 10 hours off duty

Exceptions to hours-of-service regulations

While recognizing the importance of keeping drowsy truck drivers off the road, lawmakers also understand the need for exceptions in special cases. For example, the government may suspend the aforementioned hours-of-service regulations during national or regional emergencies when areas need continuous restocking of resources.

Federal hours-of-service regulations also only apply to those truck drivers transporting well outside of their regional bases. They also only apply to drivers operating vehicles with a gross vehicular weight of over 10,001 pounds.

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