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How Long Can Truck Drivers Work Each Day?

Not many things are more terrifying than seeing an 18-wheeler shudder, then begin the unmistakable shake, wobble, and swerve, indicating a loss of control. To witness, first-hand, over 10,000 pounds of uncontrolled metal sidewinding on an interstate can be quite the harrowing experience. 

Unfortunately, the threat of truck-related collisions exists wherever there are highways and interstates with trucks transporting materials back and forth. Because of these threats, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets strict time limit standards for truck drivers to ensure the safety of all motorists.

Regulating Time for Truck Drivers

When it comes to regulating truckers’ driving periods on highways and interstates, the FMCSA takes the lead by clearly delineating the duration of driving allowed within a certain period. There are three basic maximum limits the FMCSA outlines; the 14-hour driving window limit, the 60-hour/7-day limit, and the 70-hour/8-day limit.

What Is The 14-hour Driving Window?

The 14-Hour driving limitation refers to the time a truck driver is allowed to work consecutively. Now, even though it is referred to as “daily,” the rule refers to the length of time between the start of a shift and the end of a shift, so it may take place in more than the traditional 24-hour period referred to as a “day.” 

The limitation says that a driver cannot drive over 14-hours on a shift. So, for example, if a driver begins driving at 6:00 am and takes a 30-minute break around noon, it will only be legal for him to go an additional nine consecutive hours to complete the 14 allowable hours.

In addition to the 14-hour limit, another limitation requires a 30-minute break after eight consecutive hours of driving. So, if a truck driver goes for eight hours, they are required to stop driving for 30-minutes before completing the six more hours allowed for the “day.” 

What Happens After the “Daily” Limit?

After the 14 hours have expired, they are required to have no less than 10 hours off. The regulation indicates they can perform other duties, but driving a commercial vehicle after 14 hours is strictly prohibited.

Keep in mind that this is just one of the limitations put forth to prevent injuries or deaths resulting from driver fatigue. But even with these in place, driver fatigue is such a serious problem, it is listed as one of the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) “Most Wanted Transportation Safety Improvements,” according to their 2016 report.

Utah-Based Attorneys Know Truck Drivers’ Time Limits

If you or someone you know has been injured in a truck-related collision, don’t try to navigate the intricacies alone. The seasoned truck accident attorneys of Feller & Wendt are here to help walk you through your next steps so that you can move forward with confidence. 

They know the stringent regulations imposed on truck drivers and can get you the compensation you deserve if you are injured in a truck-related collision. Call (801) 499-5060 for a free consultation, and let us take the guesswork out of navigating your truck injury claim.

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