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Are there laws to regulate truck driver’s hours?

On Behalf of | May 26, 2017 | Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Much has been said about truck drivers and the fact that they drive long hours without any resting period and how this can lead to fatigue which can cause accidents. The question that many Seattle residents may have then is: why aren’t there any laws regulating truck driver’s working hours? The answer to this is, yes, they are regulated.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has listed the hours of service regulations that apply to property and passenger carrying drivers. Property carriers can drive a maximum of 11 hours after taking 10 consecutive hours off-duty. Passenger carriers may driver 10 after 8 hours.

In addition to this, property-carrying drivers who have come on duty after taking their 10 consecutive hours off cannot drive more than the 14th hour consecutive hour. Even if they have taken some off-time, it will not extend the 14 hour time limit. There are also cumulative hour limits-a property carrying driver cannot drive more than 60 hours in 7 consecutive days and 70 hours in 8 consecutive days. This period must be restarted after taking a 34 hour or more off consecutively.

We see trucks everywhere on the roads-transporting people and property from one state to another, they form an essential part of our economy. Drivers are pushed to drive faster and longer with shorter breaks, but this comes at a toll-a human toll. Without proper rest as mandated by federal regulations, negligent drivers are more likely to get tired and drowsy on the road, slowing down their reaction time and end up causing a fatal accident. The aforementioned regulations may seem complicated for average Seattle residents, but lawyers understand what they mean if a crash takes place and how to determine when the truck driver last rested. They might be able to help family members of a Seattle resident lost in a fatal trucking accident get the compensation they deserve.