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Understanding hours of work limitations for truck drivers

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2017 | Truck Accidents

You see large semi-trucks and tractor-trailers driving in and around Richmond almost every day. While you appreciate the work that truckers do, you likely shudder to think how dangerous one might become if he or she becomes fatigued while behind the wheel. The risks posed by fatigued truckers and the responsibility they have to stay alert has been detailed on this blog before, yet we here at Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold can attest to the fact that the desire to satisfy both clients and employers can cause truckers to overwork themselves. This raises the question of whether such professionals are left to determine at what level they believe themselves to be fatigued. 

Fortunately, the answer to that question is no. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set forth guidelines regulating the number of hours a truck driver can work. In regards to a work week for drivers transporting property, one can only work up to 60 hours across a period of seven consecutive days or 70 hours across eight consecutive days (if his or her employer operates commercial vehicles). Prior to beginning a new work week, a driver must take an off-duty period of at least 34 consecutive hours which includes two periods from 1:00 am-5:00 am. 

During a work week, a driver can only drive for a period of fourteen consecutive hours, after which he or she must take a break of at least 10 consecutive hours. During that 14-hour period, he or she can only drive for a total of 11 hours. Of those 11 hours, only eight can be driven consecutively. After that time, a driver must take an off-duty break or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes. 

You can learn more about truck driver standards by continuing to explore our site.