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Are truck drivers required to rest to avoid excessive fatigue?

Truck drivers have an important responsibly when they are behind the wheel. They are responsible for delivering goods from one place to another and for doing it safely. They not only do hold their own lives in their hands – their safe travel is essential for keeping others on the Missouri roadways safe.

In a recent post, we discussed the dangers of truck driver fatigue. In that post, we discussed how tired truck drivers were often to blame for major truck accidents. In fact, truck driver fatigue was one of the top causes of major truck accidents in a major study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

In fact, there are federal safety regulations that try to prevent truck drivers from getting too sleepy on the road. These regulations — called hours of service rules — dictate the amount of time a truck driver can be on the roadway per shift, per day and per week.

According to the FMCSA, when truck drivers are carrying property they cannot exceed 60 hours of work in a seven day period, and they may not exceed 70 hours in an eight day period. Once the limit is reached, the driver must rest for at least 34 consecutive hours. If the driver has had 10 consecutive hours off of work, then the driver may driver for 11 hours in a day or 14 hours in a shift. Additionally, truck drivers must rest for at least 30 minutes after eight hours of driving. If a truck driver does not obey these hours of service rules and an accident occurs, that driver could be held liable.