Big rig accidents are treacherous and often deadly. Because these mammoth vehicles share the road with us, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates their drivers in important ways. The restrictions that the federal government places on commercial truck drivers are in place to minimize catastrophic tractor-trailer accidents and maintain safer roads.
Limited Hours of Daily Driving
Semi drivers cannot drive more than 11 hours in a day and must take 10-hour breaks between each 11-hour shift. If a driver is on-duty (but not continually driving) for 14 hours, that driver is not permitted to drive past the 14-hour mark.
Commercial Truck Drivers with Passengers Are More Heavily Restricted
Drivers who transport passengers, such as bus drivers, are more heavily restricted. These drivers cannot drive more than 10 continuous hours and must take at least an 8-hour break before they resume driving. They may work a total of 15 hours in a day, but 5 of those hours must be unrelated to driving passengers.
Semi drivers are also restricted within their weekly driving. Such drivers cannot drive more than 70 hours over 8 consecutive days and must take at least 34 consecutive hours off between 8-day shifts.
- The federal government also imposes certain medical restrictions for all tractor-trailer drivers:
- They cannot take medical marijuana;
- They cannot take any controlled substances;
- They cannot take any prescription medications without a legitimate prescription;
- They cannot drive while on an amphetamine, narcotic, or habit-forming drug; and
- They cannot need anti-seizure medications.
Further, commercial truck drivers who have certain medical conditions may need to satisfy continuing certification regulations. For instance, drivers must be able to prove that their diabetes is controlled before gaining permission to continue to drive.
Because semi-trucks cause some of the deadliest accidents on the road, they are heavily restricted. It behooves all drivers to give 18 wheelers plenty of space and to share the road safely.
Contact a Skilled Houston Semi Accident Lawyer Today
At Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, we’ve been in the business for over 20 years and we’re here to help. We’ll thoroughly investigate your case, work with the insurance company to obtain your rightful compensation, and when necessary, file a lawsuit on your behalf. If you’ve been involved in a commercial truck collision, don’t hesitate to give our team a call at 800-898-4877. Your consultation is free, and you won’t pay anything until we obtain your best possible outcome. CLICK HERE to see Stewart interviewed as an authority on trucking accident cases by Mike Papantonio on his national news program, “America’s Lawyer.”