The Department of Transportation has issued new hours of service rules for truck drivers. The new rules, which took effect July 1, 2013, are intended to reduce the chance of driver fatigue and improve safety by limiting the number of hours truck drivers may spend behind the wheel.
The Department of Transportation estimates that the new rules will prevent more than 1,400 crashes and 560 injuries per year. In addition, the approach is estimated to result in $280 million of savings from fewer large truck crashes.
The hours of service rules include:
- Limiting the maximum work week for truck drivers to 70 hours, a decrease from the previous maximum of 82 hours.
- Allowing drivers who reach the maximum 70 hours of driving within the week to resume if they rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights from 1 am to 5 am.
- Requiring drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.
- The rule retains the current 11-hour daily driving limit and 14-hour work day.
The Department of Transportation has provided the following summary of the new hours of service rules:
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