Most people in Louisiana have what one might call a reasonable fear of being involved in an accident with a big rig. Semi trucks are so large that anyone in any type of standard passenger vehicle would be at a serious disadvantage in a crash. Motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians have even less protection and stand to face even more serious consequences if hit by a commercial truck. Fatigue is a commonly known factor in some large truck crashes but there are strict rules in place by the federal government designed to minimize this risk.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a trucker who drives a vehicle that transports goods is allowed to have either a seven-day or an eight-day workweek. If their workweek lasts seven days, they may log up to 60 hours in that time. If their workweek lasts eight days, they may log up to 70 hours in that time. Once they have completed a single workweek, they are required to be completely off duty for a minimum of 34 hours before starting a new workweek.
On a daily basis, a trucker can log 14 hours of work but only 11 of those hours are allowed to be behind the wheel. Breaks lasting 30 minutes are more are mandated after eight hours and a period of 10 hours of non-working time must be in between each work day.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to let Louisiana residents know about the rules that truckers are expected to follow for their working hours and break periods in order to improve safety on the road for all.