How Long Can Truck Drivers Drive?


How many hours can truck drivers drive daily? The Albany semi-truck accident attorneys at Bailey, Johnson & Peck break down everything you need about safety and hours of service (HOS) regulations.

If you or a loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries or experienced wrongful death due to a fatigued truck driver, don’t hesitate to seek justice. Call an Albany personal injury lawyer at 518-456-0082.

What Are the Hours of Service Regulations for Property or Passenger Carrying Drivers?

How Many Hours Can a Truck Driver Drive in a Day?

The Hours of Service regulations are rules established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in the United States to keep all drivers safe and promote a better driving experience for all by reducing adverse driving conditions for truckers. These trucking industry regulations are designed to ensure that those driving get adequate rest and do not drive for excessively long hours without a break.

Key provisions of the Hours Of Service rules include:

How Many Hours Can a Truck Driver Drive in a Day?

Driving time is generally limited to 11 hours within a 14-hour driving window during on-duty time following a 10-hour span of off-duty time. This means that once a truck driver starts their workday, they have 14 hour period to complete their tasks, including driving before they are required to take a 10-hour break.

Rest Periods

Within the 14-hour window, drivers are required to take a 30-minute break if more than 8 hours have passed since their last off-duty or sleeper-berth period.

Sleeper Berth Provision

The sleeper berth provision allows those driving to meet the 10-hour minimum off-duty requirement by spending at least 7 hours in the sleeper berth with at least 2 hours spent either inside or outside of the sleeper berth, as long as this totals at least a 10-hour period.

When used together, neither counts against the 14-hour driving time window.

Weekly Maximum Hours

Truck drivers are limited to a maximum of 60 hours on duty in a 7-day period or 70 hours in an 8-day period. This is often referred to as the “60/70 rule.” To reset this calculation, a driver must take a minimum of 34 consecutive hours off-duty.

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs)

The use of Electronic Logging Devices is mandatory to record a driver’s hours accurately. ELDs have replaced traditional paper log books to prevent the falsification of records and ensure compliance with HOS regulations.

Exceptions to HOS Rules


The Hours of Service (HOS) regulations include certain exceptions to accommodate unique circumstances.

Short Hault Exception

The short-haul exception applies to drivers who operate within a 150-air-mile radius of their normal work reporting location.

Under the short-haul exception, these truckers are allowed to extend their daily driving limit to 14 hours instead of the standard 11-hour driving window, and they are not required to keep detailed logbooks if driving within the same location.

Adverse Driving Conditions Exception

The adverse driving conditions exception provides flexibility to truckers when they encounter unexpected adverse driving conditions, such as hazardous materials or roadwork that could not have been foreseen.

Under the adverse driving conditions exception, a driver may extend their driving time by up to 2 hours to ensure their safety and the safety of others on the road.

Who Must Follow Hours of Service Regulations?

The Hours of Service regulations apply to commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who are involved in interstate commerce or transportation of goods across state lines. This includes drivers of semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial vehicles.

The Hours of Service regulations apply to any commercial motor vehicle falling into the following categories: property-carrying drivers and passenger-carrying drivers. Vehicles:

  • with a weight of at least 10,001 pounds.
  • with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or gross combination weight rating (GCWR) that equals or exceeds 10,001 pounds.
  • utilized for transportation of 16 or more passengers, including the driver, without compensation.
  • designed or utilized to transport nine or more passengers, including the driver, with compensation.
  • engaged in the transportation of hazardous materials in quantities requiring the use of placards.

It is important to note that intrastate drivers who operate solely within the boundaries of a single state may be subject to state-specific HOS regulations, which can differ from federal regulations but must meet certain minimum requirements set by the FMCSA.

Can You Sue When an HOS Violation Causes an Accident?


To pursue a personal injury lawsuit against passenger-carrying drivers or truck drivers, you typically need to establish four elements of negligence, and an Albany catastrophic injury attorney can help you do so.

Duty of Care: You must demonstrate that you were owed a duty of care while driving. This duty is established by the HOS regulations and other traffic laws that require drivers to operate their vehicles safely.

Breach of Duty: You need to prove that the person behind the wheel breached their duty of care. For example, HOS regulations violations for driving excessive hours or consecutive days without proper rest is an example of a breach of duty.

Causation: You must establish that the breach of duty was a direct cause of the accident and your injuries.

Damages: You must demonstrate that you suffered actual penalties or damages as a result of the accident.

Semi-Truck Accident Damages

If you are successful in a personal injury lawsuit against a truck driver, you may be entitled to various types of damages. These can be categorized into economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages may include:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Property Damage
  • Lost Wages
  • Future Earnings

Non-economic damages are more subjective and include the emotional and psychological toll of the accident. They may encompass loss of consortium and pain and suffering.

In cases of extreme negligence or intentional wrongdoing, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party and deter similar conduct in the future.

An Albany personal injury attorney at Bailey, Johnson & Peck can help you recover all these damages and more in your semi-truck accident case.

Call Albany Semi-Truck Accident Attorneys at Bailey, Johnson & Peck Today

If you or a loved one has been involved in a semi-truck accident in Albany, New York, and believe that the accident may have resulted from a truck driver’s violation of the Hours of Service regulations or other negligence, it’s essential to seek legal representation from experienced personal injury attorneys.

The legal team at Bailey, Johnson & Peck specializes in handling semi-truck accident cases and understands the complexities involved in proving liability and pursuing fair compensation. Our attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights and helping you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.

We offer a free initial consultation to evaluate your case and discuss your legal options. If you decide to work with us, we operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay us unless we win your case.

Don’t delay seeking legal assistance after a semi-truck accident. Contact the Albany semi-truck accident attorneys at 518-456-0082 today for a confidential and comprehensive case evaluation. We are here to fight for your rights and advocate on your behalf throughout the legal process.


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