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Truck driver fatigue and federal rules

Anyone in Georgia who has been on the road and witnessed a large commercial truck seem to have difficulty staying in its lane of travel may logically be concerned that the driver might be tired. Exhaustion and fatigue among truckers has long been a concern and with good reason. Truck drivers spend many lonely and long hours behind the wheel, often at night, making their chance of being tired and less focused when driving a real possibility. This, in turn, puts others at risk if these drivers cannot appropriately manuever their vehicles due to their fatigue.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has guidelines designed to prevent fatigue among commercial drivers. Called the Hours of Service rule, these guidelines indicate that a driver transporting goods may only drive for 11 hours in a single day. They may work up to 14 hours total but only 11 of those can be driving. Every work day must be preceeded by 10 hours of off-duty time.

Drivers who transport people are limited to 10 hours of driving in a single day following an off-duty period of eight hours. For these drivers, a single work day may extend as long as 15 hours but, again, with a cap of 10 hours spent actively driving. 

If you would like to learn more about the laws in place that are designed to protect motorists, passengers and others on the roads from fatigued truck drivers, please feel free to visit the commercial driving regulations page of our Georgia personal injury and truck accident website.

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