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Rules govening trucker work hours

Whether driving along the busy I-5 corridor or local surface streets in Washington State, you no doubt see you fair share of tractor trailers on the road with you. The massive size and weight of these vehicles can be humbling to a person in a standard passenger vehicle and can make you feel very vulnerable with good reason. The importance of safe operation on the part of truck drivers cannot be emphasized enough. Not driving when tired is one thing truckers can and should do to keep everyone safe.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the agency's Hours of Service rule outlines the parameters for how long a trucker may work or drive in a single day and in a single work week. The goal of this rule is to prevent fatigue among truckers and thereby improve safety on the roads.

A truck driver who hauls goods can work up to 14 hours in one day but can only drive for 11 of those hours. Those 11 driving hours cannot be consecutive, however. A break of at least 30 minutes must be taken after working eight hours. An off-duty period of at least 10 hours must separate every work day for a trucker. 

If you would like to learn more about the laws that are in place to keep you and your loved ones safe from fatigued truckers and how you can get help if an accident does occur, please feel free to visit the commercial vehicle crash assistance page of our Washington State personal injury website.

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