For commercial truck drivers, especially those who must travel long distances, fatigue may develop after spending many lonely hours behind the wheel. This fatigue exposes truckers and others on the road to significant risks.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the government agency tasked with commercial transportation regulations, enacted a rule designed to crack down on this problem and reduce accidents caused by drowsy truckers.
The Hours of Service rule
Called the Hours of Service rule, this regulation limits a trucker’s working hours by each day and each work week. A trucker may work more hours in a single day than they can drive. Total daily working hours may extend to 14 while total daily driving hours must be a maximum of 11. These hours may only be worked after the driver has been off duty for at least 10 hours.
Weekly hours for a driver working a seven-day week must be a maximum of 60. An eight-day work week may include up to 70 working hours. The HoS rule also outlines provisions for rest breaks. Every eight hours of work must be followed by 30 or more minutes of off-duty time.
Violations of the HoS rule
Individual truckers or trucking companies that violate the Hours of Service rule may receive citations. Penalties may include time off of work.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in Ohio an overview of the rules in place designed to limit or prevent fatigue among truck drivers to improve safety on the road for everyone.