Every year in the United States, approximately 500,000 trucking accidents occur. To regulate how much a commercial truck driver can work, the United States Department of Transportation set regulations to ensure that truckers are not overworked and don’t become a danger to themselves and other drivers.

Work Vs. Duty Periods

Commercial truckers do not follow conventional work hours, so the Department of Transportation breaks a driver’s time into work and duty periods. A work period, which is seven days longs, is similar to a traditional work week, while a duty period is more like a workday. So, how many hours can a truck driver drive during those periods? All regulations are based on the number of total hours worked and not on a specific number of hours worked during a day. A commercial truck driver is allowed to work up to 60 hours in a work period.

The 14-Hour Rule

Drivers can work for as many as 11 hours during a duty period, and each duty period can only last for 14 hours. However, after eight hours of continuous driving, the driver must take a 30-minute break, which will be calculated as part of the duty period.

Commercial truck drivers must follow complex regulations set in place to give truckers the break they need to protect themselves and others.