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What are hours of service regulations?

It is likely that drivers in Illinois have encountered large trucks traveling across the state. These trucks are a necessary part of our state's economy. They are responsible for bringing consumer goods and natural resources to and from our state. Without these trucks, people would not have access to the consumer goods they enjoy on a day-to-day basis. However, these trucks are also responsible for a large numbers of serious truck accidents.

Many of these accidents are caused by truck driver fatigue. Due to the economic pressure placed on truck drivers, these individuals sacrifice sleep -- and other's safety -- to meet driving deadlines. As these drivers get tired, their judgment slows and they cause accidents. You may wonder if there are any regulations to the amount of sleep that trucks are required to get in order to prevent these types of accidents.

Hours of service regulations have been passed to keep sleepiness to a minimum for truck drivers. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers have rules about how long they can drive without taking a break. Under these hours of service, a truck driver may not drive more than eight hours in a row without a 30 minute break. Additionally they may not drive over 14 hours in a day without a 10 hour rest period. For the week, truck drivers cannot drive more than 60 hours in seven days or 70 hours in eight days. If they have reached these maximums, they must have at least 34 hours off including two periods from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.

If truck drivers or truck companies break these regulations then they could be negligent. An attorney can help provide specific legal advice -- which this post cannot provide -- following a truck accident. With the right help, people can determine if truck driver fatigue played a role in causing an accident.

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