Bus And Truck Driver Fatigue A Factor In Far Too Many Crashes
May 22, 2015
Because their vehicles are so large and potentially dangerous, truck and bus drivers are held to higher safety standards than drivers of smaller vehicles. Trucking and busing companies are also federally regulated, and one aspect of that regulation has to do with the drivers’ hours of service.
Studies have shown that drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s hours-of-service regulations are meant to reduce the risk of crashes caused by truck and bus driver fatigue.
The hours-of-service limits for bus and truck drivers differ slightly. Bus drivers are prohibited from driving for more than 10 hours after eight consecutive off-duty hours, and truck drivers are prohibited from driving for more than 11 hours following 10 consecutive off-duty hours
Bus and truck drivers’ jobs are not limited to driving time. The vehicles must be maintained, and there are other non-driving tasks that drivers are responsible for. Federal regulations also take those non-driving duties into account.
After the 15th consecutive hour on duty, bus drivers are not permitted to drive, and a bus driver is permitted to reach that 15-hour limit only after being off duty for eight consecutive hours. Truck drivers are not permitted to drive after reaching 14 hours on duty, and a truck driver is permitted to reach that limit only after 10 consecutive off-duty hours.
Bus and truck drivers’ hours-of-service logs can be used as evidence to show that a driver was in violation of federal safety regulations. For more on what to do after a bus or truck accident in New Jersey, please see our bus accident overview.