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Regulations aim to keep truckers from driving while fatigued

Fatigued truck drivers in Ocala will often go to many lengths to keep driving. After all, the more hours they are on the road, the more money they will make. However, a large, fully-loaded truck can weigh tens of thousands of pounds, meaning a crash involving a semi-truck can cause significant damage, and could seriously injure or kill other drivers or passengers. For this reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has regulations regarding how long a trucker can be on the road before being required to take a rest break.

First of all, a trucker is allowed a timeframe of 14 hours in a row, during which he or she can drive for up to 11 hours after being off the roads for at least 10 hours in a row. Once the 14 hour period is up, the trucker cannot drive again until he or she has been off the roads for 10 hours in a row. The 14-hour limit includes any time the trucker takes off, for example, to eat lunch or take a break. With regards to the 11-hour driving period, regulations also state that a trucker cannot drive if more than eight hours have gone by since the trucker last went off-duty for at least half-an-hour.

In addition, there is a 60/70-hour limit, which is contingent on either a seven or eight-day time period. It is similar to the idea of a "weekly" limit. However, instead of being based on days, such as Monday through Sunday, it is a "rolling" seven or eight-day period. The oldest day's hours drop off once each day ends when adding up the total amount of time the trucker is on-duty for the previous seven or eight days. However, the 60/70-hour timeframes can be "restarted" if the trucker goes off duty for at least 34 hours in a row.

These regulations are in place to keep our roadways safe. However, some truckers will not obey these rules, will drive while fatigued and will cause an accident. People injured in commercial vehicle accidents may want to research whether they have a legal claim against the trucker or truck company for the damages they suffered.

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