Tired eyes take lives: Drowsiness is a concern for truckers

If there is anything that could cause a crash, it’s a driver who is asleep behind the wheel. Drivers who aren’t watching the road or who are struggling to stay awake aren’t driving safely, and they’re putting many other people’s lives in danger.

To help address the issue of drowsiness among truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has Hours of Service regulations that all commercial drivers need to abide by. New regulations are coming on September 29, 2020. 

Drivers are limited in how often they can drive

For now, property-carrying drivers are only able to drive for 11 hours at a maximum. They must take at least 10 hours off before and after that drive. Passenger-carrying drivers can only drive for a maximum of 10 hours before being required to take eight hours off duty. 

The HOS regulations also require rest breaks. Property-carrying drivers need to take a break every eight hours or less. To limit time behind the wheel for passenger-carrying drivers, passenger-carrying drivers may not drive after they work 60 hours in a seven-day workweek or 70 hours in an eight-day workweek. Passenger-carrying drivers who have access to a sleeper berth need to take eight hours off in the sleeper berth, but they are able to split this up into two periods of no less than two hours at a time. 

Getting enough rest is one of the ways that the FMCSA is trying to limit driving time and prevent drowsiness on the roads. If a truck driver collides with you and is in violation of these rules, then they may be able to be held liable for their actions.