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Arnold & Itkin LLP Truck Accident Blog2011DecemberMaximum Driving Time for Big Rig Truck Drivers

Maximum Driving Time for Big Rig Truck Drivers

According to 49 CFR Part 395 by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers carrying a property load in their big rig or 18 wheeler must rest from driving under certain circumstances. The law is based upon a study conducted to produce safer operations by commercial trucking companies and drivers.

Consistent with a National Transportation Safety Board Study, fatigue was found to be a large factor in over 50% of truck accidents. Another study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration concluded that the risk of a trucking accident doubles from the 8th consecutive hour and the 10th consecutive hour of driving, and again between the 10th and 11th hours.

As a result, the Department of Transportation has pushed for strict laws regarding the maximum driving time and hours of service regulations for commercial truck drivers.

The following outline the regulations regarding property-carrying commercial vehicles:

  • 11 Hour Driving Limit – A truck driver may not drive more than 11 total hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
  • 14 Hour Limit – A driver may not drive past the 14th consecutive hour after coming back to duty from 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
  • 60 / 70 Hour On-Duty Limit – A commercial truck driver is not allowed to drive after 60 hours on duty in a 7 consecutive day period, or after 70 hours in an 8 consecutive day period. A driver may only start another 7 or 8 day period after 34 consecutive hours or more off-duty.

The law surrounding passenger-carrying commercial vehicles differs in the maximum driving time for these drivers. If you have any questions regarding the maximum driving time and truck driver fatigue, immediately talk to a truck accident lawyer from Arnold & Itkin LLP.


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