Truck drivers are often responsible for transporting goods from one side of the country to the other, which can require them to travel for days at a time. Because many of these deliveries are time sensitive, drivers may drive for many consecutive hours, sometimes through the night, without taking a break. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has made sure to regulate the number of hours a truck driver is allowed to drive without rest.
According to the FMCSA, property-carrying truck drivers may drive no more than 11 hours and the 11 hours must be completed within a 14-hour period. Once the 11 hours are completed, or once the 14-hour period has ended (even if the driver has not driven for 11 hours), the driver must stop driving for at least 10 straight hours before getting back on the road. As for shorter breaks, drivers are required to have a 30-minute break for every eight hours of driving.
The number of hours a truck driver can drive each week will depend on the trucking company he or she works for. A driver working for a company that does not have its vehicles out on the road every day can only drive a maximum of 60 hours in any seven-day period. Drivers working for a company that does have its vehicles out every day of the week can drive 70 hours in an eight-day period.
Truck drivers who fail to follow the FMCSA’s regulations may find themselves falling asleep behind the wheel. Dozing off for even a few seconds can cause a devastating Ohio truck accident, resulting in serious injuries. If you were involved in an accident caused by truck driver fatigue, you may be entitled to compensation for your accident-related injuries and damages. Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent truck driver and/or the company they work for, can get you the financial support you deserve.