Fatigue can be a problem that plagues drivers, especially those who consistently spend extended periods of time on the road, such as truck drivers.

Federal regulations require truck drivers to follow strict hours-of-service regulations in order to prevent drowsiness while driving. 

Truck driver hours-of-service rules

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, regulations for drivers who transport freight include: 

  • Not driving in excess of 11 hours during a work shift (a break of 10 consecutive hours resets a work shift) 
  • Not driving beyond the 14th consecutive hours after returning from a 10-hour work break 
  • Not driving for more than 60-70 hours during a 7-8-day work week (a break of 36 consecutive hours resets a work week) 
  • Not driving for more than eight hours without taking a 30-minute break 

Exceptions to hours-of-service regulations

There are certain exceptions to hours-of-service guidelines. In some cases, these exceptions prompt separate hours restrictions. In others, standard drive time limitations do not apply at all. The FMCSA lists the latter as including drivers transporting agricultural commodities within a 150-mile radius of their origin, the transport of emergency relief during stated national, regional, state or local emergencies, and drivers servicing utilities.

Similarly, truck drivers who are traveling in adverse weather conditions are allotted an additional two hours of drive time (that added time, however, must still fall within the 14-hour work period). 

Do you have questions?

Have you been injured in a truck accident? To preserve evidence, truck-accident victims should contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible.