Safety & Accident

New Hours-of-Service Regulations Began July 1

July 01, 2013

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that new federal regulations designed to improve safety for the motoring public by reducing truck driver fatigue took full effect on July 1, 2013. 

“Safety is our highest priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  “These rules make common sense, data-driven changes to reduce truck driver fatigue and improve safety for every traveler on our highways and roads.”

Trucking companies were provided 18 months to adopt the new hours-of-service rules for truck drivers.  First announced in December 2011 by FMCSA, the rules limit the average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours to ensure that all truck operators have adequate rest.  Only the most extreme schedules will be impacted, and more than 85 percent of the truck driving workforce will see no changes. 

Working long daily and weekly hours on a continuing basis is associated with chronic fatigue, a high risk of crashes, and a number of serious chronic health conditions in drivers.  It is estimated that these new safety regulations will save 19 lives and prevent approximately 1,400 crashes and 560 injuries each year.  

“These fatigue-fighting rules for truck drivers were carefully crafted based on years of scientific research and unprecedented stakeholder outreach,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro.  “The result is a fair and balanced approach that will result in an estimated $280 million in savings from fewer large truck crashes and $470 million in savings from improved driver health.  Most importantly, it will save lives.”

FMCSA's new hours-of service final rule: 

  • Limits the maximum average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours, a decrease from the current maximum of  82 hours;
  • Allows truck drivers who reach the maximum 70 hours of driving within a week to resume if they rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights when their body clock demands sleep the most - from 1- 5 a.m., and;
  • Requires truck drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift. 

The final rule retains the current 11-hour daily driving limit and 14-hour work day.

Companies and drivers that commit egregious violations of the rule could face the maximum penalties for each offense.  Trucking companies and passenger carriers that allow drivers to exceed driving limits by more than three hours could be fined $11,000 per offense, and the drivers themselves could face civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense.

Further information, including “Hours of Service Logbook Examples,” is available on FMCSA's web site at


  1. 1. Sharon Estes [ July 01, 2013 @ 11:34AM ]

    How can they possibly come up with these stats? Just one more nail in the coffin of the owner operators. I have never seen a country so hell bent on destroying commerce.

  2. 2. David E Stroup [ July 10, 2013 @ 05:51PM ]

    They need to take a look at these crashes. The problem is you can't put someone through six weeks of school then turn them loose an expect them to be able to drive and stay awake. If they were honest on the statisticks they would see that the most crashes are the newer drivers. Food for thought there is truck bodyshop nere my house his buisness consist of fixing Schieder National, Creet,Shaffer & Sunflower Since He started his buisness he moer Quadroupled his size since all these six week supper truckers have started. Come on six weeks of school then six months of driving then becoming a trainer!!!! Blind leading the blind start puting regulations on the schools and the big company's. Then back off on the owner operaters They for the mostpart been down the road a little bit longer and know there limits. I could go on & on & on. For real!! not for one freeking minute am i going to belive that this is for the safty for you me & the other guy. Hell DOT is out for the revinue off the Truck drivers not for the safty. You look all the big company's that have schooling & backed by the goverment meening funded are rarly the ones being tormented with nonsense & Fined for shit and left back out on the highway with out taking care of the problem. That right there shows you its about the money. I'M FEDUP WITH THE LIES

  3. 3. don green [ July 24, 2013 @ 01:11PM ]

    Well said David! Thanks!


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