There has likely been a moment when, while driving through Okaloosa County, you started to feel a little drowsy. This is nothing unusual; any extended period behind the wheel will probably cause fatigue. Imagine how much more tiring it might be if your job required you to spend long hours on the open road.
Sadly, many of our past clients here at Brannon & Brannon witnessed the results of driving fatigue firsthand as victims of truck accidents. Given the many hours that truckers must drive for their jobs, it may come as little surprise that fatigue is a problem they deal with. Federal lawmakers recognize this and require that truck drivers follow strict hours-of-service regulations.
Understanding when (and for how long) truckers can drive
Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these regulations require the following:
- That truck drivers work no more than 60-70 hours during a 7-8 day work week
- That truck drivers avoid driving more than eight consecutive hours without taking a break
- That truck drivers drive no more than 11 hours before needing to take 10 consecutive hours off duty
- That truck drivers do not drive beyond the fourteenth consecutive hours after a 10-hour off-duty period
These regulations apply only to drivers who transport freight; separate (yet similar) rules exist for those that transport passengers.
Exceptions to hours-of-service regulations
Standard hours-of-service regulations do not apply in all situations. Only truckers who drive vehicles with a gross vehicular weight of more than 10,001 must follow them. The government may also suspend them in certain scenarios (such as during a declared national emergency). In applicable cases, however, a truck driver who hits you must produce a log detailing their hours worked upon request.
You can learn more about dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident by continuing to explore our site.