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What are hours-of-service regulations for truck drivers

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Drowsy driving remains a problem that you and other motorists on Tom’s River’s roads must deal with. Yet you might think that the drivers of traditional vehicles pose this risk. Truck drivers, on the other, would not dare take to the road while experiencing fatigue (given the fact that, as professionals, they understand the dangers that come with it). At least, that may be what you want to believe.

In reality, however, truckers might be among those drivers most likely to drive while drowsy. After all, they remain behind the wheel for long hours, and they may have incentive to push their physical limits in order to complete routes on time. Yet you can imagine just how dangerous a fatigued truck driver might be.

Federal hours-of-service regulations

Federal lawmakers can imagine the same thing, which is why they mandate that truck drivers follow strict hours-of-service regulations in order to avoid driving while drowsy. Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these include:

  • Not driving more than eight hours without taking a break
  • Not driving more than 11 hours without then needing to take 10 consecutive hours off-duty
  • Not driving beyond the fourteenth consecutive hours following a 10-hour off-duty period
  • Only driving 60/70 hours in a seven to eight day work week

Proving a trucker was driving while drowsy

To ensure compliance with these regulations, lawmakers require that truck drivers maintain detailed logs regarding their hours worked. After experiencing an accident caused by a trucker, you can ask to see those logs, and the driver should be able to immediately provide you with them. A failure to keep a log is not only a violation of the law, but also may serve as an indication of the not adhering to the aforementioned standards (yet not wanting to admit it).