Do You Know The Rules? Our Two-Minute Overview On 2013 FMCSA Regulations
Studies have shown that driving while fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol. After two consecutive nights with five or fewer hours of sleep, a driver might as well have a blood alcohol content of 0.1. The legal maximum is 0.08.
Obviously, we can’t have drivers in that condition on our highways. So on July 1, 2013 new Department of Transportation regulations came into full effect. In an effort to safeguard the health of both commercial drivers and the motoring public, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) placed more stringent restrictions on the number of hours that drivers can legally drive in any given day and week. Our drivers and dispatchers are aware of these rules – and they can actually help us gain optimal performance and results.
Here’s an Overview of the New FMCSA Regulations:
- Individuals can drive a maximum of 70 hours per week, a decrease of 12 from previous regulations.
- Once a driver hits 70 hours, he must rest for 34 consecutive hours before driving again. Because the body needs sleep most between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., this 34-hour period need to include at two nights.
- Drivers can work 14 hours per day, but are only allowed to be driving for 11 of those hours.
- Drivers must take a 30-minute break during their first eight hours of driving each day.
- Violations carry a penalty of $11,000 per offence for the trucking company, and drivers can be charged up to $2,750 for each offence.
Our drivers are smart, savvy businesspeople. They determine whether we get 70 hours of productivity out of each truck every week, and make important safety decisions every minute they’re on the road.
A great example of this is one of our drivers whose load was delayed due to a scheduling issue at the customer’s loading dock. Instead of burning up his “on the clock” hours waiting at the dock, he used this time to go home and rest. He was able to use his time strategically to stay healthy and compliant with regulations, and he was able to deliver the load on time.
Knowing the rules is the first step. Being able to comply and get our loads delivered on time is critical. It’s what makes our drivers the best, and safest, in the business.