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Hours-of-service rules in place to prevent truck accidents

Semi-trucks traversing the streets and highways of Illinois play an important role in commerce. Carrying goods for sale from one city or state to another, there is no denying that these vehicles are a necessary part of doing business. However, these vehicles do pose a danger when handled improperly. In particular, when the truck driver is drowsy because a truck accident involving a drowsy driver can be a deadly affair.

For this reason, the U.S. has rules regarding how long truck drivers can be on the road. First, trucks hauling goods may only drive up to 11 hours, but only after spending 10 hours in a row off duty. Trucks hauling goods may not drive beyond 14 consecutive hours after spending 10 hours in a row off duty.

In addition, a trucker can drive only if eight hours or less has gone by since the end of the trucker's previous off-duty period of at least half an hour. Truckers cannot operate their vehicles after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 days in a row. But, a trucker can restart the 7/8 consecutive day period, if he or she spends at least 34 hours in a row off duty. Finally, truckers utilizing the sleeper berth provision must spend a minimum of eight hours in a row in the sleeper berth, in addition to a separate two hours in a row either off duty, in the sleeper berth or both.

Preventing truck driver fatigue is necessary, as the sheer size and weight of a semi-truck make any accidents involving them especially catastrophic. The hours-of-service rules are in place to protect both truckers and other drivers on the road. By making sure truckers are adequately rested, it may be possible to prevent accidents between semi-trucks and other vehicles.

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