What are federal trucking regulations to prevent drowsy driving?

When out on the road in Tampa and throughout Florida, drivers, motorcyclists and pedestrians need to be aware of large trucks. These vehicles, while necessary for the transport of goods, can be dangerous due to their size and the attention that is required to operate them safely. Federal trucking regulations are in place to make certain that controllable issues surrounding drivers are adhered to.

There is a maximum amount of time drivers can be on the road. For property-carrying vehicles, it is not allowed for the driver to operate the vehicle without taking a minimum of 10 hours off. The driver can drive within 14 consecutive hours after starting a shift only after 10 hours have been spent off duty. A driver can’t drive after a 14 hour shift ends before taking another 10 straight hours off.

There are required rest breaks that drivers must take in addition to following the rules for driving time. The driver is able to drive for 11 hours within the 14 hour period. Unless the route is considered “short-haul,” the driver is not allowed to operate the vehicle if it is eight hours after the last time the driver was off-duty or spent time in the sleeper-berth for at least 30 minutes. It is against regulations for the driver to drive if the person has been on duty for 60 hours in seven consecutive days if the company does not operate each day of the week. The driver cannot operate the vehicle if the driver was on duty for 70 hours in the previous eight consecutive days, if the company runs every day of the week.

It is in the interests of safety for others on the road as well as the truck driver that the regulations are in place to try and prevent truck driver fatigue and a truck accident. A trucking log is used to try and keep track of the driver’s movements and prevent the dangers that accompany drowsy driving.

Yet, these accidents still happen all too frequently. Those who have been hurt in a truck crash need to understand how to seek compensation through a lawsuit. Speaking to a legal advocate experienced in accidents involving large trucks can help.

Source: cms.fmcsa.dot.gov, “395.3: Maximum driving time for property-carrying vehicles,” accessed on June 2, 2015

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