Tractor trailer drivers are responsible for safely driving an extremely large vehicle that could be hauling thousands of pounds of cargo. Because of their size, these large trucks can cause significant personal injury in an accident. These risk factors mean a truck driver has to remain extra alert and vigilant. Unfortunately, driver fatigue is a problem that leads to hundreds of Missouri tractor trailer crashes each year. Drivers, who are paid by the mile, were giving up sleep and driving on short rest in order to complete shipments faster.
To help control driver fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration set the Hours of Service guidelines for drivers. Some of these rules include:
– Truck drivers can only drive up to 11 consecutive hours and only after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
– Truck drivers can be on duty (working but not necessarily driving) for 14 consecutive hours and are not able to drive after the 14th hour.
– In a 7 day span, the maximum on duty time is 60 hours. Drivers may also choose to work 70 hours across 8 days.
– After a 7-8 day working period, the driver must take 34 consecutive hours off duty.
The FMCSA says these rules will prevent thousands of accidents nationwide and ultimately save lives. One in five truck drivers have admitted to driving under extreme fatigue or even nodding off at the wheel.
In order to make sure drivers adhere to the hours of service rules, they must keep an accurate log of their driving. After an accident, it is essential that this log is quickly investigated by a tractor trailer accident lawyer since many companies will destroy these logs after a certain of amount of time.