Truck drivers spend more hours on the roads than your typical driver because of the nature of their jobs. To help ensure safety, the federal government implemented hours of service regulations.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration explains hours of service regulations help to track the hours a truck driver is behind the wheel. They manage breaks and time off.
In general, drivers are only allowed to drive 11 hours per day and must have 10 hours off in between shifts. They must have a 30-minute break after driving for eight hours. There are other more specific details that help ensure a driver is not behind the wheel for too long and to give breaks to keep the driver from driving when tired.
The focus of these regulations is to stop drivers from pushing themselves too hard. In addition, they prevent employers from setting impossible goals for drivers.
Truckers will usually get paid based on deliveries. They often do not get paid for time when they are not delivering a load. For this reason, many drivers will try to overwork to make more money. Also, companies make money for deliveries, not for the time when the truck is on the road, so they may push their drivers to move more quickly. The goal of moving more faster can lead to overworked drivers who are behind the wheel without having adequate rest. The regulations help to ensure that truckers do have some regular rest.
Taking sleepy drivers off the road and reducing drowsy driving can save lives. These regulations are one step toward trying to make roads safer.