A look at driving hour limits for truckers

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

At all hours of the day or night, trucking traffic in Chicago remains at a high level. Several laws and regulations require trucking companies to follow certain guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone.

With drowsy driving posing a serious threat, occupational truckers must limit their hours behind the wheel in several areas.

Daily and weekly limits for property carriers

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, federal trucking regulations insist trucking companies keep close track of the number of hours employees drive in a given period. After 10 hours of off-duty, a trucker can not operate the vehicle for more than 11 hours, nor can the trucker drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty.

A 30-minute driving break must come within eight hours of continuous driving. Any activity not behind the wheel satisfies this requirement.

Beyond daily limits, truckers must not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 days. However, when facing adverse driving conditions such as extreme weather trucks can exceed these limits by up to two hours.

Limits for truckers carrying passengers

Similar regulations exist for truckers who carry passengers, with a few differences. The 11-hour limit falls to 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours of off-duty time, and drivers can operate up to 15 hours after eight hours off duty.

Sleeper birth provisions allow drivers to take time off while sleeping in the truck cab. The time in the sleeper must add up to at least 8 hours, and this can fall into two separate periods provided both last longer than two hours.

Hours of service regulations provide legal restraints against unsafe trucking companies. The regulations seek to balance safety and business considerations.

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