Semi truck drivers are often required to drive up to 11 hours in one day in order to make ends meet. Long hours spent on the road to make long trips can lead to drivers falling asleep at the wheel, often resulting in accidents and injuries.
Ford wanted to help fix this problem. Here’s their super cool, technology-driven solution:
Ford has created a trucker hat to wake sleepy drivers pic.twitter.com/hVLk0fKU8X
— Tech Insider (@techinsider) November 7, 2017
Rules of the Road
The 11-hour rule
Truck drivers are not permitted to drive more than 11 hours consecutively. They must take a 10-hour sleeping or off-duty break at this point. This rule is not only for the well-being and safety of truck drivers, but also other people on the road.
The 14-hour rule
Much like the 11-hour rule, the 14-hour rule states that a driver may not drive more than 14 hours before being required to take a 10-hour break.
However, it is different in that it specifies a strict time window in which to finish driving. Here’s how it works:
Once a driver comes on-duty to start his shift, he gets 14 hours to work and drive, and no more. For example, a driver starts his shift at 5am. By 7pm, he must stop driving, regardless of how many hours he actually drove during that 14-hour window. If a driver stops for lunch, gets delayed at a receiver, or takes a nap, none of this extends the 14-hour window.
In order to refresh and get a new 14-hour window, the driver must take a 10-hour break.
- 66% of long-haul truck drivers acknowledged experiencing some level of fatigue on at least half of their trips.
- 65% reported symptoms of drowsiness such as yawning, feeling drowsy or sleepy, and struggling to stay alert while driving.
- 13% of drivers reported actually falling asleep at the wheel.
The 30-minute rule
This rule is newer than the others. The 30-minute rule states that a truck driver can’t drive for more than 8 consecutive hours without taking a 30-minute break.
So if a driver goes on duty at 6 am, their break must occur at 2 pm or earlier. Otherwise, they can’t drive past 2 pm.
The 70-hour rule
Finally, the 70-hour rule is a weekly, cumulative one. Yet again, this rule is in place for the safety of the truck driver and other drivers on the road.
The 70-hour rule states that a driver may not drive after being on duty for 70 hours in any consecutive 8-day period.
An example: a driver works 14 hours a day, Monday through Friday. 14 x 5 = 70 hours. His 8-day period would be that Monday, through and including the next Monday. So, since he reaches his 70th hour on Friday, he cannot drive on Saturday or Sunday.
The only way to reset the clock to zero is by getting 34 consecutive hours off-duty.
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Beyond Financing a Semi Truck: This Hat Could Save Truckers’ Lives | First Capital Business Finance