How Long Can a Truck Driver Drive in Colorado?

The federal government highly regulates the trucking industry. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, is the “lead federal government agency responsible for regulating and providing safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).”

It is the FMCSA’s mission to “reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.” To carry out this mission, the FMCSA has safety rules and regulations in place that trucking companies and truck drivers must follow while operating on U.S. roads and interstates.

Truck drivers and trucking companies who fail to follow the FMCSA’s safety rules and regulations may be liable for any accident-related injuries resulting from their negligence. This includes failing to abide by the FMCSA’s hours-of-service regulations.

What are the FMCSA’s Hours-Of-Service Regulations?

The FMCSA’s hours-of-service regulations are limits in place for when and how long a commercial truck driver may drive. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, hours-of-service regulations are to ensure commercial truck drivers stay awake and alert while driving.

Hours-of-service regulations are also to help reduce the possibility of driver fatigue.

How Long Can a Truck Driver Drive in Colorado?

How Long Can a Truck Driver Drive in Colorado?

Under the FMCSA’s hours-of-service regulations, commercial truck drivers can drive for eleven hours at a time. The driver must then stop driving for a minimum of ten consecutive hours of rest.

Once a driver has rested for at least ten hours off-duty, they may return to another eleven-hour shift. Any eleven-hour shift must be completed within a fourteen-hour time frame. 

The fourteen-hour time frame allows for meals, repairs, fuel stops, and other necessities while on an eleven-hour shift. Once a driver’s fourteen hours is up, the driver’s eleven-hour driving shift terminates.

Are Truck Drivers Required to Take Breaks?

The hours-of-service regulations require truck drivers to take a thirty-minute break after eight hours. 

What is the 60-Hour/Seven Days Rule?

Truck drivers work on a “rolling week.” In a rolling week, calendar days are irrelevant.

The hours-of-service rules mandate trucking companies and drivers adhere to the following rolling week rules:

  1. The 60-Hour/Seven Days Rule: Trucking companies that operate six days a week may only permit their drivers to drive for 60 hours within seven consecutive days; and
  2. The 70-Hour/Eight Days Rule: Trucking companies that operate every day of the week may only permit their drivers to drive for 70 hours within eight consecutive days.

A driver may restart their work week after a thirty-four off-duty rest period.

Exceptions to the Hours-of-Service Regulations

There are exceptions to the hours-of-service regulations. For instance, truck drivers may slightly extend their driving hours due to “adverse driving conditions.”

However, exceptions are not the rule. Drivers who drive fatigued or disregard the safety of others should be held accountable for their actions, as should the companies who employ them.

Contact an Experienced Denver Truck Accident Attorney Today

If a fatigued truck driver injured you or a loved one, call the experienced Denver attorneys at Dulin McQuinn Young. We have over 20 years of experience fighting for injury victims across Colorado.

Dulin McQuinn Young has proven successful both inside the courtroom and in negotiations. Let our dedicated, compassionate Denver truck accident attorneys guide you through the personal injury claims process.

The sooner we start your case, the faster you can get the compensation you deserve. Schedule your complimentary consultation at Dulin McQuinn Young now. 

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