Rules & Regulations for Truck Drivers in the United States


Written by Trusted Dispatch

June 23, 2023

Truck drivers are vital for the timely and safe delivery of goods across the US. To ensure safety, they must adhere to regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In this blog post, we will answer common questions about trucking regulations, including driving limits, breaks, and safety measures. 

Understanding these rules is crucial for safe transportation, especially when sharing the road with school buses, emergency vehicles, and pedestrians. We will also address topics such as speed limits, consecutive days on the road, and the importance of adhering to traffic laws. Let’s dive into the rules of the road for truck drivers.

How Long Can a Truck Driver Be on the Road?

Truck drivers must adhere to Hours of Service (HOS) regulations to prevent fatigue-related accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits driving time to 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. These rules prioritize safety on the road, reducing the risk of truck accidents. 

Driving is a mentally taxing activity, especially with a heavy load. It’s crucial for drivers to be aware of adverse driving conditions, watch for wildlife, and navigate other drivers on the road. Taking a 30-minute break within the first 8 hours of driving ensures rest and alertness. Following these guidelines helps maintain road safety.

When Must Drivers Take Breaks and How Long Should They Be?

Truck drivers are required to take regular breaks to ensure they remain alert and focused while driving. After completing their maximum 11-hour driving limit, drivers must take a break of at least 10 consecutive hours before they can resume driving. Additionally, within the first 8 hours of starting their shift, drivers must take a 30-minute break. This break is essential for rest and rejuvenation, allowing drivers to maintain their concentration and reaction times.

What Is the Maximum Time a Driver Can Be on the Road in a Week?

There are weekly limits on the number of hours a driver can spend on the road. These limits are there to prevent excessive fatigue and ensure the safety of both truck drivers and other road users. According to hours of service regulations, drivers can drive up to 60 hours in 7 days or 70 hours in 8 days, depending on their employer’s schedule. However, to reset these limits, the driver must take a minimum of 34 consecutive hours off duty.

How Long Should a Driver Rest Between Hauls?

Truck drivers must rest for at least 10 consecutive hours after a haul. According to FMCSA regulations, this ensures they are well-rested and alert for their next journey. This break is crucial for driver safety. 

It allows them to recharge and be fully attentive when it’s time to hit the road again. So, when it comes to navigating traffic or using the left lane, well-rested drivers are better equipped to navigate these situations with precision and caution.

Are Speed Limits Different for Heavy Haulers?

It depends on where you’re driving. In some US states, there are separate speed limits for heavy haulers from regular traffic. Due to their size and weight, heavy haulers often have lower speed limits compared to regular passenger vehicles. These limits are imposed to ensure the safety of both truck drivers and other road users. 

Lower speed limits allow heavy haulers to maintain better control, especially while navigating curves, ramps, and steep descents. Drivers of heavy haulers need to be aware of and adhere to the specific speed limits applicable to their vehicles to promote safe and responsible driving on the roads. Additionally, many trucking companies may have their own regulations for speed limits that follow the law and save on fuel consumption. 

Where to Find Trusted Truckers?

If you require transportation services that prioritize safety and adhere to the rules and regulations for truck drivers, look no further than Trusted Dispatch. Our commitment to safety measures and our dedicated team of professional drivers ensure the secure and timely delivery of your goods.  
Contact us today to learn more about our services or get a free, instant quote and experience the difference between working with a trusted partner in the transportation industry. Your satisfaction and peace of mind are our top priorities.

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