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How long can truckers drive without stopping to rest?

Anyone who has undertaken a road trip knows how hard it can be to keep going when it seems like their destination will never appear. They may just want to push through their boredom and exhaustion to reach the end of the trip; Massachusetts residents may elect to drive through the night just to avoid traffic when they take on long trips by car. However, driving without taking breaks to rest and reset can be dangerous because fatigue can impact how drivers operate their vehicles.

One group of drivers that is especially prone to driving while fatigued is truck drivers. Many trucking companies incentivize timely deliveries and may encourage drivers to push through when they feel as though they need to rest. Fatigued driving is a dangerous cause of truck accidents and, because of this, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued rules regarding just how much and how long truckers can drive without taking breaks.

Truck drivers are required to take 10 hour rest breaks. After a 10-hour rest break, a driver may not operate their rig for more than 11 consecutive hours. With short stops and breaks, a trucker may not operate their rig for more than 14 hours after a 10 hour stop. Short breaks, as well as time in the sleeping berth of their truck, are required for truckers to meet their FMCSA requirements.

Truckers are required to record their periods of rest and driving in their log books. These books can be used to demonstrate a driver's failure to follow FMCSA guidelines and, therefore, their exhaustion when they caused a vehicle crash.

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