FMCSA rules to combat trucker fatigue

If you are like many people in Minnesota, you may well wonder how the commercial trucking industry monitors fatigue among drivers. This is just one of many things that may be a factor in contributing to an accident. If you ever see a semi truck or other large commercial vehicle on the road, you should know that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does have clear rules about when and how long a driver may work and when breaks are required.

These guidelines are referred to as the Hours of Service regulations. For drivers who transport material items, they may work either a 60-hour work week over the course of seven days or a 70-hour work week over the course of eight days. After a single work week has been completed, they must then take at least 34 hours off before starting their next 60- or 70-hour work week.

In a single day, a trucker may work as many as 14 hours at one time. However, only 11 of those 14 hours are allowed to be spent actively driving. These 11 hours must follow 10 hours of time away from work. Additionally, a break period lasting a minimum of 30 minutes must be taken after eight hours of work has been performed. There are separate rules for drivers who operate vehicles carrying passengers.

If you would like to learn more about the rules governing the commercial trucking industry and how those might impact you if an accident occurs, please feel free to visit the trucker's laws and responsibility page of our Minnesota personal injury and truck accident website.

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