How Many Hours Can a Trucker Legally Drive?

How Many Hours Can a Trucker Legally Drive?

how many hours can a trucker legally drive

How many hours can a truck driver drive? We’d be hard-pressed to live our lives without truckers. They get products from one place to another, but doing so involves many long hours on the road for days in a row, up against deadlines set forth by their bosses and delivery destinations that can be challenging. Not to mention how dangerous it is to drive a vehicle that weighs so much and can’t maneuver as easily as smaller vehicles. 

To combat the inevitable fatigue that comes with semi truck driving, there are regulations in place to ensure trucking safety. Let’s look at these regulations and learn how many hours can a trucker legally drive. 

Federal Regulations and the Trucking Industry

trucker safety

With 2 million tractor-trailers on the road in the US annually, there is a good reason the industry is highly regulated. But who governs tractor-trailers? Each state? The Federal Government? 

One of the things the United States Constitution allows is the regulation of commerce that goes from one state to another by the federal government. The federal regulations that deal with the trucking industry come from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). They are responsible for overseeing common carriers and trucking companies in the US. The FMCSA has the power to issue regulations, laws, and other guidelines that legally bind the trucking companies or steer them in some way. 

Hours of Service Regulations

One of the main ways the FMCSA regulates trucking safety is by mandating how many hours a trucker can legally drive. These Hours-of-Service (HOS) Regulations are as follows:

Carrying Goods  

  • The driver can only drive 11 hours out of a 14-hour work period
  • The 14 hours starts over after a 10-hour break
  • The driver must rest for at least 30 minutes after every 8 hours of driving
  • The driver cannot drive more than 60 hours in a 7-day period or 70 hours in an 8-day period
  • The driver can “reset” the 7 or 8-day period by taking 34 consecutive hours off

Carrying People

  • The driver can drive a maximum of 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty
  • The driver may not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following 8 consecutive hours off duty

Were You In an Accident with a Truck Driver?

All these regulations are reasonable and are there to benefit semi-truck drivers. But there are times when drivers don’t follow the rules, are fatigued, distracted, or restless, and cause a significant accident. Were you involved in an accident with a truck driver? Here’s what you need to do:

  • Seek medical attention right away by contacting the local police, who will send an officer and a medical team
  • Document the accident and your injuries with pictures – but don’t post them on social media
  • Get the contact information of the driver and any witnesses who saw what happened
  • Contact an experienced truck accident attorney at Zirkin & Schmerling right away

What Can a Skilled Truck Accident Lawyer Do For You?

There are several reasons that it is important to reach out to Zirkin and Schmerling Law, an experienced truck accident law firm:

  • Work with the insurance companies
  • Gather evidence to support your claim
  • Build a strong case in your favor while you recover from your injuries
  • Help you get the medical treatment you need 

Remember, as soon as the accident is reported the at fault insurance company will either deny your claim or try and offer you pennies on the dollar for what your claim is worth. . Most often, what they offer doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of your medical bills incurred, lost wages, future loss earning capacity, and pain and suffering.. Maryland’s Zirkin & Schmerling personal injury lawyers can handle all the details while you focus on healing. 

Call our office any time of the day at 410-753-4611 to receive a free consultation. Or visit us online to learn how we can help you with your semi-truck accident case.