Drowsy driving is a significant factor in a large percentage of truck and automobile accidents. Thus, preventing driver fatigue is an important step towards on-the-job safety for truck drivers, as well as general road safety for the public. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has thus set hours-of-service safety regulations in place for the trucking industry to ensure drivers are allowed enough time to sleep and relax between shifts for safety and health purposes.
Exploring the Regulations
The newest hours-of-service regulations for the trucking industry were instated on July 1, 2013. These regulations stipulate that the maximum average number of hours per week a trucker may work is 70 hours, which represents a decrease from the previous maximum of 82 hours per week. Additionally, the new regulations state that drivers who reach the maximum of 70 hours on the job per week may resume driving once they have rested for 34 consecutive hours. This rest time must include two 1-5 a.m. time periods. The new hours-of-service regulations also require truckers to take a 30-minute break at some time during the first eight hours of their shift, while also limiting the number of hours driven per day to 11 and the number of hours worked per day to 14.
Benefits of These Regulations
The new hours-of-service safety regulations were instated after extensive research on truck driver health and safety. Studies have shown that long consecutive workdays and erratic sleep schedules are a significant contributing factor in truck driver fatigue and poor health, as well as an increased risk of accidents on the road. These new regulations ensure truckers are allowed enough time to sleep between shifts to avoid overworking and driving during the times when the body requires sleep the most (early mornings from 1-5 a.m.).
At DSW Drivers, we can help you pursue a successful and healthy trucking career. Take a look through our website to find out more about our open job opportunities in Tucson, or contact us today by calling 1 (888) 266-7534 to discuss the advantages of working with DSW.