Every year , thousands of people are injured or killed by negligent truck drivers on the road. In a study published by the FMCSA, the percentage of crashes due to fatigue that occurs between hour 12 and 16, jump from 10% to 25%. Currently, there are regulations in place that legally define how many consecutive hours commercial truck drivers can work in a day and during the week to ensure their safety and the safety of others on the road. Drivers who choose to drive past these outlined hours of service are knowingly breaking the law and driving negligently. In this blog, our Kansas City injury lawyer outlines the hours of service commercial truck drivers are required to adhere by.
14 Hour Driving Window
Commercial drivers are allowed to drive for 11 hours in a 14-hour window. This means they have 14 consecutive hours to complete their 11 hours of driving. The 14-hour window begins when the truck driver starts any work. Once they have reached that 14 hour maximum hours worked, truck drivers are not allowed to work again until they have had ten consecutive hours off of work.
In addition to the 14-hour driving window, commercial drivers are also required to take at least a 30-minute rest break for every 8 hours of driving. So this would mean a driver who drove for 8 hours could stop for a rest break and then drive another 3 hours. The rest break or meal break does not count toward the 14-hour window of drive time. There are exceptions to this rule which apply any time a driver drives within 100 mile air-mile radius of their normal reporting location, returns to their reporting place of business within 12 consecutive hours and follows the 10 hour off-duty and 11-hour drive time requirements..
60-70 Hour Rolling Weekly Limit
Commercial truck drivers are limited to a rolling 60/70 hour work week. Unlike most industries where a work week starts on Monday and ends Friday, the work week for truck drivers is considered a rolling or floating 7 or 8 day period. For example, if a driver has accumulated a total of 67 hours during their work week of Sunday to Sunday, they would not be able to drive anymore once they reach the 70-hour limit. Once the driver has hit the 9th day in their work schedule, the last day off work drops of the schedule and they can begin driving again.
Despite these rules set in place to create safety standards, many commercial truck drivers push their limits or ignore rest-break rules so they can reach their destination faster. Studies have shown that fatigued drivers on the road can make just as many poor decisions as drunk drivers. If you or someone you know was hit by a truck driver, our firm can launch an extensive investigation to find out the details of what happened and who should be held responsible for your injuries.
Call (855) 981-6116 today to speak to a Kansas City personal injury attorney.