Truck driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of 18-wheeler accidents in Texas. Unlike regular motorists, truck drivers are limited to how many hours a day they are allowed to operate a commercial vehicle. Regulations on Interstate Truck Drivers:
Interstate truck drivers may not drive for more than 11 consecutive hours and may not drive after being “on-duty” for more than 14 hours total. They are required to have had at least 10 consecutive hours “off-duty” time prior to beginning their shift.
The hours-of-service requirements for bus drivers are even more stringent: they are not permitted to drive more than 10 hours and may not drive after being “on-duty” for more than 15 hours. The required “off-duty” time for bus drivers prior to starting their shift is eight consecutive hours.
For both property-carrying and passenger-carrying motor carriers, drivers are restricted to a maximum of 60 hours “on-duty” every seven days (if the carrier does not operate every day of the week). If the motor carrier operates every day, then this limit changes to 70 hours in eight days. After reaching this limit, there is a required 34 consecutive hours of “off-duty” time which must elapse before they are permitted to begin the time calculation again. Regulations on Intrastate(Texas) Truck Drivers:
Subject to certain exemptions, intrastate truck drivers are permitted to drive 12 hours following 8 consecutive hours off duty. They may not drive after having been “on duty” 15 hours, following 8 consecutive hours off duty.
There is a maximum of 70 hours worked/driven in any consecutive 7 day period. A driver may restart a consecutive 7 day period after taking 34 or more hours off-duty.
Certain intrastate truck drivers are exempt from these regulations as well as the requirement to keep a log of their hours. They include a person:
who returns to the work-reporting location and is released from working within 12 consecutive hours;
has at least 8 consecutive hours off between each 12-hour period the person is on duty; and
operates within a 150-air-mile radius of the normal work reporting location.