Accidents in Indiana involving large trucks are often serious. Because of this, it is important for the government to step in and enact rules to assure that everyone stays safe on the roadways. One area where there is a major concern when it comes to truck drivers is drowsy driving. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported that driver fatigue is a leading cause in the almost 4,000 deaths attributed to truck accidents each year.
Because of the concern over drowsy driving in truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set regulations for truck drivers. These are referred to as hours-of-service regulations, and they dictate how long and when a person can drive.
To begin, drivers may not drive more than eight hours without a 30-minute break. When it comes to the total amount of time drivers can be on the road, they are allowed to drive for 11 hours, but they must have had at least ten consecutive hours off prior to driving these 11 hours. However, there is an important detail about this driving time. These 11 hours must be driven within a 14-hour period. Once a driver begins working, the 14-hour period begins. Once at the end of the 14-hour period, the driver must have at least 10 hours off before he or she can drive again, even if the person had not reached the 11 hours’ worth of drive time.
There are exceptions to these general rules. For example, any driving on personal time is not included in the limitations. Another example is if a driver is driving in adverse weather conditions, such as heavy snowfall, he or she is allowed to drive an additional two hours for a total of 13 hours.