Trucker fatigue is a potential cause of many semitruck crashes. These drivers travel many miles in the course of a day, but the length of their shifts aren’t indefinite. The federal government has set strict standards for how many hours truckers can drive. The hours of service (HOS) regulations also cover how many hours into a shift that involves non-driving hours they’re allowed to be behind the wheel of a big rig.
There are two sets of rules. One of these covers truckers who are hauling goods. The other covers commercial drivers who carry passengers. All truckers must keep track of the number of hours they drive. This is done primarily through the use of electronic logs, which have replaced the paper log books of the past. This is a good place to start if there is any question about the trucker’s fatigue level or an hours of service violation.
Truckers who are carrying goods can drive up to 11 hours before having to take a 10-hour rest break. If they are doing other duties, they can’t drive beyond their 14th hour on duty, regardless of whether they’ve reached the 11-hour limit.
Drivers with passengers can drive up to 10 hours per shift before having to take an eight-hour break. If they do other duties, they can’t drive beyond their 15th hour on duty, even if they haven’t reached the 10-hour limit.
There are also limits set for rolling seven- and eight-day consecutive shifts that truck drivers must follow. Failing to comply with these regulations could impact their careers.Any lapses could become a central point in your claim for compensation if you’re struck by a semitruck.