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The FMCSA Hours of Service rule for truckers

How many times have you been driving on a surface street, highway or freeway in Colorado only to have a large tractor trailer come up next to you or pass you quickly? This situation often leaves people in regular passenger cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles feeling somewhat dwarfed and vulnerable. This is with good reason. These big rigs are just that - big. Their sheer size can put other people in line for serious risk if an accident with one of these vehicles occurs.

Truckers are known to work very long hours in many cases, leading them to potentially be driving when they are not as alert as one might prefer. This, in turn, may increase the risk of an accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration instituted what it calls its Hours of Service rule. This details exactly the maximum number of hours a trucker may drive and work per day and per work week. It also identifies the time when breaks must be taken. The goal of this rule is to reduce the instances of truckers driving while fatigued to reduce accidents.

According to the FMCSA, a truck driver who carries goods but not passengers may work 60 hours in a seven-day work week or 70 hours in an eight-day work week. Before a new work week may commence, a rest period must be logged that lasts at least 34 continuous hours. On a daily basis, a trucker may work 14 hours but only 11 of those can be spent driving. A 30-minute break is required after eight hours.

If you would like to learn more about how the government is trying to reduce accidents caused by negligent truck drivers or trucking companies' policies, please feel free to visit the commercial trucking collision page of our Colorado personal injury website.


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