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Understanding trucker hours-of-service limits

If you feel drowsy while behind the wheel, you should stop driving and get some needed rest. Yet what if driving is a primary function of your job? Truckers and commercial vehicle drivers can be subject to the same feelings of fatigue as everyone else, and they may not feel as though they can simply stop driving to rest. The trouble is that, as witnessed in the experience of many of our past Hartford clients here at McCoy and McCoy, drowsy truck drivers can cause untold damage.

In an effort to prevent truck and commercial vehicle driver fatigue, the federal government has mandated operating hour guidelines that such professionals must follow. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers carrying property must observe the following hours -of-service rules:

  •          No driving more than 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty
  •          No driving beyond a 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty (after 10 hours off)
  •          Mandatory rest breaks every eight hours between off-duty or sleeper berth periods
  •          No driving until after 34 consecutive hours off duty following a 7/8 work week in which one drove 60/70 hours
  •          Mandatory eight consecutive hour rest period in a sleeper berth as well as an additional two consecutive hours in the berth or on duty

Regulations for drivers transporting passengers are similar, with minor changes in the number of required resting hours.

Truckers must keep detailed notes of their rest and off-duty periods. In the event that you are involved in a collision with such a vehicle, such logs may provide the evidence needed to show that the trucker involved was not complying with mandatory rest standards.

More information on the potential causes of truck accidents can be found here on our site.


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