People who hold commercial driving licenses must adhere to special regulations governing commercial transportation, many of which focus on prioritizing safety for all.

Fatigue may commonly occur in people who drive for long stretches at a time. Truckers operating large, heavy rigs may pose significant dangers on the road when excessively tired. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Hours of Service and Electronic Logging Device rules aim to prevent trucker fatigue.

Hours of Service rule

The Hours of Service rule limits the number of hours a person may work and drive each day and each work week. The hours vary depending on whether the driver transports good or passengers. The rule also stipulates the duration and timing of daily and weekly breaks. For drivers transporting goods, a work week may span seven or eight days. A person may work up to a total of 14 hours in a single day, but only 11 of those hours may be spent actively driving.

Electronic Logging Device rule

The FMCSA’s Electronic Logging Device rule provides one means of enforcing and tracking compliance with the Hours of Service rule. Trucks must be outfitted with special equipment that monitors the vehicle’s idle and drive time. The devices enable authorities to know of any violations that may pose significant safety risks, such as driving beyond the daily stated limits.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give people an overview of the rules that the federal government has in place to monitor commercial trucking in order to keep the public safe from unnecessary and preventable accidents.