The United States Department of Transportation through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the hours of services for drivers. Specifically, the regulations states
(1) Driver may drive 11 hours after 10 hour off duty
(2) Driver may not drive beyond the 14th hour after coming on duty, following 10 hours off duty; and
(3) Driver may not drive after 60/70 hours on-duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
Driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty. The reason for these strict regulations is the greater number of hours worked the more likely a accident. The association between excessive work hours and greater likelihood of crash involvement has been well-documented in a series of academic studies in the trucking industry. Jones, I.S. and Stein, H.S. “Effect of Driver Hours-of-Service on Tractor-Trailer Crash Involvement (1987), Arlington, VA, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Frith, W.J. “A Case Control Study of Heavy Vehicle Drivers’ Working Time and Safety,” (1994), Proceedings 17th ARRB Conference, Part 5: pp. 17-30, Queensland, Australia. Maineway Services summarized some of the important studies in a report submitted to the Transportation Research Board in May 2005. Maineway Services, Literature Review on Health and Fatigue Issues Associated with Commercial Vehicle Driver Hours of Service, submitted to Transportation Research Board, Project Number CTBSSP MC No. 11, May 27, 2005.
This report noted: “Using a case control approach to examine the relative risk associated with long hours of driving, Jones and Stein (1987) found that tractor-trailer drivers who drove in excess of eight hours, who violated logbook regulations, and who were aged 30 and under had an increased risk of crash involvement. In particular, the relative risk of crash involvement for drivers who reported a driving time in excess of eight hours was almost twice that for drivers who had driven fewer hours. The Firth (1994) report cited above shows crash involved drivers to be 2.6 times more likely than non-crash involved drivers to have driven 8 or more hours.”
If you or a loved one has been injured, contact Stark & Stark today.