Commercial Vehicles

Hours of Service

Fatigued and drowsy drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents. The number of hours commercial drivers are allowed to drive is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which updated hours of service regulations in 2003. New updates were proposed in 2011.

As part of the regulatory review process, AAA submitted comments acknowledging all drivers have an obligation to drive responsibly, without endangering the lives and welfare of others. AAA supports revisions to hours of service; urging FMCSA to develop requirements based economic issues and sound scientific research on sleep, rest and human factors.

The FMCSA estimates that the 2002 regulations saved 75 lives, avert as many as 1,326 fatigue-related injuries, and prevent 6,900 property damage-only crashes annually, saving the American economy $628 million a year.

Proposed updates will limit daily driving windows, limit “restarts” on the clock by requiring 34 consecutive hours off-duty, and allow drivers to count some hours spent parked in their trucks as off-duty hours.

Additional information on hours of service regulations is available at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.

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