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How Many Hours Are Truck Drivers Legally Allowed to Drive?

How Many Hours Are Truck Drivers Legally Allowed to Drive?

shapiro.admin September 26, 2021 Trucking Accidents

Why Choose Our Scottsdale Personal Injury Lawyer, David Shapiro?

Drivers of large commercial trucks have incredible responsibilities on the roadways of Arizona. Not only do semi-truck drivers have to have their commercial driver’s licenses, but they also have to adhere to strict regulations set forth by the federal and state governments. Some of the most important of these regulations revolve around the hours of service requirements. Here, we want to discuss how many hours truck drivers are legally allowed to operate during each day and during the workweek in Arizona.

Who Regulates the Hours of Service for Arizona Truck Drivers?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) operates under the purview of the US Department of Transportation, and they are in charge of setting hours of service regulations for truck drivers throughout the country. Most state agencies that regulate truck driving activity tend to stick with the federal hours of service regulations set forth by the FMCSA.

Current regulations are as follows:

  • Drivers have an 11-hour driving limit each day, and this 11 hour driving time must be completed within a 14-hour time frame.
  • Drivers cannot start a new 14-hour timeframe until they have an off duty for ten consecutive hours.
  • During a seven-day workweek, truck drivers can operate for 60 hours. During an eight-day workweek, drivers can operate for 70 hours.
  • Drivers can restart a workweek after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty. 
  • Drivers can extend the 11-hour driving window and 14-hour driving limit by up to two hours if they are operating in adverse conditions on the roadway.

Throughout most of the history of tracking hours of service, truck drivers were responsible for keeping paper logbooks of all hours driven. However, drivers now have to have electronic logging devices (ELDs) installed inside of their vehicles that connect directly to the engine to keep track of how many hours they operate each day and each week. Drivers are allowed to use paper logbooks in the event the ELD stops working, but they can only use the paper logbooks for eight days. 

What Are the Consequences of Violating Hours of Service?

Drivers and trucking companies who willfully violate hours of service requirements could face a range of financial consequences and a suspension of licenses. However, it is much more important to focus on the potentially deadly consequences involved with violating the hours of service requirements.

Truck drivers already have an erratic schedule. When the hours of service regulations are violated, it significantly increases the chances that a truck driver will operate these large vehicles while fatigued. Fatigued driving can lead to deadly consequences on the roadway. These vehicles can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds, and a collision with a traditional passenger vehicle on the roadway can lead to severe injuries for those involved.

If you or somebody you love has been injured in an accident caused by the actions of a truck driver or trucking company, you need to reach out to a skilled truck accident lawyer in Scottsdale immediately. An attorney will be able to conduct a complete investigation into your claim and help you recover total compensation for your losses. Reach out to David Shapiro Law, PLLC!

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