How Long Do Truck Drivers Stay on the Road Without a Break?

Truck drivers move products all over the country. Long-haul trucks often drive all night to get the cargo where it needs to go. But if truckers stay on the road too long without a break, the consequences can be disastrous.  Big rigs and tractor-trailers are known to cause some of the most dangerous accidents on the road.

Federal Regulations Often Violated

The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the number of hours a trucker can work without a break. Truck drivers are supposed to drive no more than 11 hours in any 14 consecutive-hour period, and are mandated to be off duty 10 or more consecutive hours before beginning their next shift.

Yet the news headlines tell an all-too familiar tale of companies who put pressure on the drivers to continue driving no matter how tired they feel. They may be pressured by their employers to drive for longer than the mandated limit. Interstate truckers are supposed to keep a log that verifies they have not worked longer than the mandated amount. But many feel economic pressure to falsify the data in the log book so the trucking companies will continue to hire them.

Truck crash investigations have revealed instances where drivers reported being on the road for 36 straight hours. No one can drive well, much less even function with that amount of sleep deprivation.

A Truck Accident Lawyer in Lafayette, Louisiana

Lack of sleep and inadequate breaks are two primary risk factors for a truck driver causing a serious accident. Post-crash investigations are often quick to reveal an exhausted, overworked driver as the root cause.  If you or a family member was injured in a truck accident, the drivers as well as the company he or she represents may be liable for your injuries including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Bart Bernard is a truck accident lawyer Lafayette and Baton Rouge residents trust to fight for their rights and maximum compensation after a serious, life-altering accident such as these. Initial consultations are always free and you pay no legal fees unless we win compensation on your behalf. Call today and “Hit Hard with Bart Bernard”™.

Additional Resources:

  1. U.S. Department of Transportation. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Interstate Truck Driver’s Guide to Hours of Service. October 2016.
  2. Rhee, Joseph and Alexa Valiente. “The Danger of Forcing Truck Drivers to Drive Sleep-Deprived Exposed.” ABC News. September 18, 2014.



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