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Federal rule tries to curb fatigue among truckers

Have you ever been concerned about the long, lonely hours that a commercial truck driver spends on the road and how tired they can become when behind the wheel? If so, you are far from alone as many Kentucky residents share this very understandable concern. Fatigue can be a problem for truckers and that is precisely why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has developed very detailed guidelines about when drivers should take breaks and how long they can drive without such breaks.

The rules that attempt to combat trucker fatigue are referred to as the Hours of Service and they vary in part based upon what type of load a particular truck carries. For those rigs transporting property, truckers are capped at working 70 hours over the period of eight straight days or 60 hours over the period of seven straight days. After a break of time off duty that lasts more than 34 hours, a new eight- or seven-day work period can be started.

If a driver has been on duty for 14 hours, no further driving is allowed until a rest period has been taken. Only 10 hours of consecutive drive time in a day is allowed. The goal of these rules is to prevent drivers from behind behind the wheel for too long at one time.

If you would like to learn more about the Hours of Service rule and other regulations designed to protect the public from truck accidents, please feel free to visit the FMCSA trucker's rules page of our Kentucky personal injury website.

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