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Is there any regulation in place to minimize trucker fatigue?


Many people work in an office setting, but there are those who spend their work days operating an 18-wheeler to transport goods. It is fairly common to see semi-trucks in Illinois. In fact, most Illinois residents likely encounter semi-trucks on the roadways on a daily basis. For truckers, driving long hours to get to their destination without a break or sleep is an economic incentive. But, driving a vehicle can get tiring, particularly if such driving is for several hours at a time, and doing so can result in truckers experiencing fatigue which can put not only them but other motorists on the roadways at risk of an accident.

Illinois residents may know that in an effort to address the issue of trucker fatigue, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration implemented a regulation called Hours-of-Service in July of 2013. The intent of the regulation is to improve safety to roadways by ensuring that truck drivers are not too tried, drowsy or fatigued when they are driving.

In essence, the Hours-of-Service regulation limits the work week of trucker to 70 hours per week. Prior to this regulation, truck drivers could operate their trucks for up to 82 hours per week. Additionally, the regulation requires truck drivers to have at least 34 hours of consecutive rest periods. Furthermore, truck drivers are required to take at least a half an hour break during the first eight hours of driving.

The FMCSA estimates that the Hours-of-Service regulation will prevent about 1,400 crashes and over 500 injuries annually. Trucking companies and truck drivers are required to comply with regulation.

Source: US Department of Transportation, "News Hours-of-Service Safety Regulation to Reduce Truck Driver Fatigue Begin Today," Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, FMCSA 40-13

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