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FMCSA regulations to curb trucker fatigue

If you are like many others in Maryland, you may well be concerned about the long hours that truck drivers spend behind the wheel. The monotonous and lonely nature of driving a large truck may well contribute to fatigue among drivers. This, in turn, may increase the risk of an accident happening because a tired driver is far less able to respond quickly or operate a vehicle safely at all times.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration oversees the trucking industry and has very clear rules about how many hours in a day and in a week a trucker may work and drive. There are also clear rules around when breaks should be taken. The goal of these regulations is to reduce trucker fatigue in an effort to improve safety.

Among these rules is the provision that a driver may work up to 14 hours at one time but only 11 of those may be spent driving. Additionally, a shift must follow a period off at least 10 hours off of work. A work week may span seven or eight days in a row but must then be followed by a rest period of at least 34 hours before the next work week is allowed to begin. Sixty hours are allowed in a seven-day work week and 70 hours are allowed in an eight-day work week.

If you would like to learn more about the federal laws that govern the trucking industry in an effort to maintain safety, please feel free to visit the commercial vehicle safety page of our Maryland personal injury website.

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