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Time-on-the-Road Restrictions for Commercial Truck Drivers

State and Federal Regulations Designed to Minimize Driver Fatigue That Can Cause Accidents

Motorcycle Accidents Involving Roadway HazardsA commercial truck, such as a semi, big rig, 18-wheeler, or tractor-trailer, can carry a payload of up to 80,000 pounds. Because of the inherent danger associated with a vehicle carrying that much weight on our highways, there are state and federal regulations requiring truck drivers to log their time on the road. This monitoring requirement is intended to minimize the risk that drivers will suffer fatigue from spending too much time behind the wheel. Unfortunately, because most truck drivers are paid by the mile, they have an incentive to drive for too many hours a day. This incentive, coupled with the fact that their employers expect them to reach a destination by a certain time, can lead to driver fatigue, inattention, and diminished capacity, all of which can cause accidents.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), commercial truck drivers are subject to the following hours-of-service limitations:

  • The 14-hour “driving window” limit—After being off for a minimum of 10 consecutive hours, a truck driver has a 14-hour window within which he or she cannot exceed 11 hours on the road. At the end of the 14-hour window, the driver must be off duty for at least 10 consecutive hours. The driver may not carry over unused hours and may not extend the 14-hour window by going off duty.
  • The 11-hour driving limit—A driver may not be on duty more than 11 hours during the 14-hour window and cannot drive if more than 8 hours have elapsed since his or her last 30-minute break from driving.
  • The 7-day/8-day limit—A commercial driver may not be on the road more than 60 hoursover any 7-day period or more than 70 hours over any 8-day period. The period measured is not fixed, but floating.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

If you have been injured by a commercial truck, send us an e-mail or call us at 856-667-4666 or 877-Hoglaw1 to schedule an appointment. We are open with safety precautions and also can communicate with clients by phone, text message, and videoconference. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request.

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