Safe and Flexible Driving Rules
Driving hours have long been a part of trucking safety. Driving for too many hours can cause drowsiness and a lack of concentration. To drive long distances and sustain the necessary energy it takes to work in the trucking industry, many drivers plan ahead.
Hours Of Service
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was first adopted in 1937 for the safety of commercial drivers. The Hours of Service rules then specified what the operating hours should look like for truck drivers. Since then, the rules and guidelines have been changed to meet current standards.
Truck driver hours of service rules were changed on September 29th. The official new rules allow for more flexibility so that scheduling hours around breaks are now easier. Among some of these guidelines, two exceptional changes provide huge benefits to trucking safety: The Thirty Minute Rule and The Adverse Driving Conditions Exception.
Adverse Driving Conditions
The Adverse Driving Conditions Exception extends the maximum permitted driving time by two hours. Due to inclement weather conditions or traffic build-ups, it can be tempting to drive faster to complete the distance needed by the driving deadline hours. With two additional hours, unexpected driving conditions are not nearly as stressful for truck drivers.
The Thirty Minute Rule
The Thirty Minute Rule was created for mandatory break times. Continuous driving throughout the day can be hazardous without intermittent breaks. Without these breaks, drivers can become unaware of drowsiness or a lack of concentration and may cause harm to themselves or other drivers. The thirty minute break rule requires a break after eight hours of consecutive driving time. At this point, a driver can relax at a restaurant or take a nap before re-energizing for the next stretch.
Driving safety can sometimes be an afterthought when distance and time are of the essence. By following the guidelines set in place by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, commercial motor vehicle drivers can remember to stay safe on the road.