The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA has established the number of hours that truck drivers in the United States are allowed to drive their trucks. By adhering to these rest requirements, truck drivers can reduce their risk of driver fatigue, which leads to serious truck accidents and life-threatening injuries.
Rest Requirements for Truck Drivers
According to the FMCSA, if a truck driver’s workday consists of 14 hours, he or she may only drive for a maximum of 11 hours. Once the individual has driven 11 hours, he or she must rest for at least 10 hours before returning to his or her truck driving duties.
After 10 hours off-duty, a truck driver does not have the right to drive his or her truck past the 14th consecutive hour. A driver is also not permitted to drive after 60 hours on-duty within a seven day period on-duty. In addition, he or she cannot drive after 70 hours on duty within an eight day period on duty. Truck drivers can only restart a seven or eight day work period after he or she has taken 34 hours off-duty.
These rest requirements are put in place to help truck drivers get the sleep they need to perform their job without feeling fatigued behind the wheel. In the event a truck driver does not follow these rest requirements, he or she is engaging in negligence and can be charged. The trucking company he or she works for may also be considered negligent.
All truck drivers must record the number of hours they work and rest in a special book. They are also legally required to write down the time their shift ends and when another trucker takes over for them. Fortunately, there are a few technologies that have made time tracking easier for truck drivers and motivated them to actually do it.
Consequences of Failing to Adhere to Rest Requirements
If the FMCSA finds out that a truck driver has disregarded rest requirements, they have the right to impose serious consequences. They will likely force the driver to pull over until he or she has accrued enough off-duty time or rest and are compliant with the requirements. In addition, the FMCSA may impose fines between $1,000 to $11,000 for which the truck driver or carrier will be responsible.
Injured in a Truck Accident? Contact Our Will County Truck Accident Lawyers
Fatigued truck drivers can be incredibly dangerous on roads and highways. If you sustain an injury in a truck accident that was caused by a truck driver’s negligence, you should reach out to our experienced Joliet truck accident lawyers today at 815-726-9200.