To keep others safe, truck drivers have very strict regulations that they need to follow in terms of working hours and resting or off-duty hours. This is to keep them from working too long or driving when they are tired, as driver fatigue has been shown to be a major contributor to car accidents.
One such rule is the 60/70 hour limit. Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), it means that a driver is not allowed to get behind the wheel if, during the last seven to eight days in a row, they have worked 60-70 hours. These are on-duty hours, not necessarily hours on the road.
What can a driver do if they have worked for this long? They have to take at least 34 consecutive hours off. Once they have done that, they can start another work period of seven to eight days.
While this rule does help to limit the amount of time that a driver spends working, you may notice that it still means he or she can be on the road for an extended period of time. The average work week in the United States is just 40 hours over five days. If a driver is allowed to spend eight days working for 70 hours, he or she may still feel fatigued or even exhausted. Plus, the company cannot mandate what the driver does with their 34 hours off, so they may still not get the rest that they need.
Have you been injured in an accident caused by a truck driver? You may be able to seek substantial compensation.