Anyone that’s ever embarked on a long road trip knows how monotonous driving can become after the first flush of excitement has cooled. It lowers a driver’s alertness level, slows reaction times, and leads to fatigue that causes accidents. This is why there are driving limits.
It’s known by many names ranging from monotonous driving syndrome and drowsy driving to highway hypnosis and white line fever. Individuals that fall victim to it often traverse great distances without any recollection of having traveled it.
It’s just one of the reasons that driving limits have been mandated for every driver in the trucking industry. The regulations can be confusing, particularly for drivers new to the road. The rules are designed to keep drivers wide awake, alert and safer on the road. Tractor-trailer rigs require more time to stop and extra room to turn and switch lanes. Drivers must be completely alert to navigate and maneuver a heavy hauler.
Truck drivers are allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours each day after 10 consecutive hours of driving. Drivers must also take regular 30-minute breaks. After a typical run, they’re not allowed to drive past 14 consecutive hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
The clock never stops ticking for truck drivers and that’s true even when they take a break. Drivers are required to take a 30-minute non-driving break if they’ve been driving for more than 8 cumulative hours. They must log 10 hours off during a 24-hour period. The key to many of the regulations is how many consecutive hours a driver has been behind the wheel.
The maximum time that drivers can be on the road is 14 hours per day and off duty time doesn’t extend the 14-hour limit. However, there are exceptions as with everything. The only time a driver can extend drive times are when he/she encounters adverse driving conditions that encompass ice and snow, heavy rain, and flooded roads.
Working the Week
Regulations also affect the number of hours a driver can work per week. Drivers can work a 60-hour week over 7-days or 70-hours over 8 days. Drivers can restart their work week after they’ve taken 45 or more consecutive hours off duty.
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