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What should drivers of commercial trucks know?

Accidents occur with every possible kind of vehicle. One of those is commercial trucks. In order to avoid accidents as a driver of commercial trucks, it is important to know what the law establishes about driving them.

What are driving windows?

There is a 14-hour diving window for drivers of commercial trucks. This means that you can only work across a 14-hour period before taking 10 consecutive hours off from driving. This means that if you start driving at 6 a.m. in the morning, drive of and on until 10 p.m. at night, you will have used your full 14-hour driving window and cannot drive again for another 10 hours.

How many hours can I actually drive within that 14 hours?

While the window within which you can drive your commercial truck is 14 hours, you can't drive all 14 hours of that. The period includes breaks and other periods of not driving. The total number of hours that you can actually drive within that time frame is 11. After driving for 11 hours, you must take 10 hours off, even if the 14-hour driving window hasn't elapsed.

What is point of these legal restrictions?

The point is to keep drivers of the road if they are overtired or otherwise of diminished capability. Even if you get enough sleep every night, you may get careless or have poor reflexes after driving for too long continuously or for too much of the day overall.

For those reasons, it is important to fully understand and comply with all legal restrictions on the driving of commercial trucks. You should research them fully, since this article only touches on some of them. Doing so can go a long way to keeping you safe and keeping those around you safe, too.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Interstate Truck Driver’s Guide to Hours of Service," accessed April 12, 2016

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