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Hours of service rule aims to curb trucker fatigue

Louisiana residents know that commercial truck drivers often spend many long and lonely hours on the road. This can lead to an increased risk of driving while fatigued which can, in turn, increase the risk of an accident happening. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration monitors the trucking industry and has instituted rules designed to reduce the amount of fatigue that drivers experience. The goal of these rules is improved safety for drivers and the public.

Referred to as the hours of service rule, the guidelines indicate that a driver may work seven or eight days in a row. If seven straight days are worked, a maximum of 60 hours may be logged in that time. If eight straight days are worked, they may include up to 70 hours. Before a new seven- or eight-day period can start, a driver must take a break of at least 34 hours.

In a given workday, no more than 14 hours may be worked and only 11 of those hours are allowed to be spent actually driving. Additionally, a rest break lasting a minimum of 30 minutes must be taken every eight hours. These are the guidelines for drivers who operate rigs carrying materials and property, not passengers. The FMCSA has identified different requirements for those truckers that operate passenger vehicles.

If you would like to learn more about trucker fatigue and how the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is attempting to reduce this accident risk, please feel free to visit the trucking collision and safety page of our Louisiana personal injury website.

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