Understanding truck driver hours-of-service rules

| Jan 31, 2021 | Personal Injury |

Many Ohio motorists feel uneasy when traveling near commercial trucks. This may be due in part to the fact that your chances of suffering a serious injury or fatality in a car-on-truck crash are far higher than those of the trucker. Your chances of involvement in such a crash also increase if the truck driver fails to follow hours of service rules and regulations. These guidelines seek to enhance public safety by limiting how much time each trucker spends on the road.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truckers transporting property must adhere to strict hours-of-service regulations to avoid driving while fatigued.

Property-carrying driver limits

Current hours-of-service rules allow today’s truck drivers to drive for 11 hours at a time, provided they have just come off of an at least 10-hour break. Furthermore, they may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming back on duty, even if they take breaks within that timeline.

There are also limits regarding how much a trucker may drive within a seven- or eight-day span. Truckers may drive a maximum of 60 hours over the course of seven days or 70 hours over the course of eight days. A new seven- or eight-day period begins when the trucker takes at least 34 consecutive hours off from driving.

Property-carrying driver break rules

Today’s commercial truckers also have to follow regulations about break times. For every eight hours they drive without at least a half-hour interruption, they must take at least a 30-minute break.

When truckers drive while drowsy or fatigued, it may affect alertness, reaction time and other performance-related areas, all of which may raise the chances of a crash.

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