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Truck driver regulations

Operators of large vehicles in the state of North Carolina and across the country are required to comply with specific safety standards on the road. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration stipulates how many hours drivers may spend behind the wheel before taking a mandatory rest or a day off. Once cargo drivers have driven 10 hours in a row in one shift, they may not continue to drive after the 14th hour. In other words, even if a driver takes a rest after a 10-hour stretch, he or she cannot continue to drive for more than four additional hours within the same shift. These requirements are put in place in order to help prevent driver fatigue and the accidents that could potentially ensue.

Although drivers of commercial vehicles are bound by certain rules, some people feel that the current safety standards are insufficient. The Huffington Post highlights the fact that fatalities involving large trucks increased steadily between 2009 and 2013. It goes on to state that recent federal actions have made highways shared by truck drivers less safe. For example, in 2013 a law was passed that required two nights of rest between shifts that hit maximum hours. In addition, commercial drivers were prohibited from operating between one and five a.m. While this regulation was in the interest of highway safety, the bill was struck down the next year.

With the updated law, truck drivers may potentially spend up to 82 hours behind the wheel in just one week. Another potential hazard is failure to test drivers for sleep apnea, which may be extremely detrimental for anyone who drives for long periods of time. Through these discussions and others, the struggle to maintain highway safety while still respecting the independence of trucking companies continues.

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Phone: 704-706-9308
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