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When a trucker gets behind the wheel of a semi-truck, his or her full attention has to be on the driving duties. When they are on anything else or when he or she isn't there cognitively, the truck can become a deadly projectile.

The need for truckers to have ample rest is one of the reasons why there are federal regulations in place to limit the number of hours that truckers can drive per shift. The trucker's log book or electronic log is used to verify that the regulation is being complied with.

The number of hours that truckers can drive per shift is 10 hours for truckers who are carrying people or 11 hours for truckers who are transporting cargo. If these truckers have other duties, they can't drive beyond their 14th hour on duty for cargo carriers or 15th hour on duty for bus drivers and others who carry people.

The rest time that is required between driving shifts varies. For truckers carrying people, the rest period is eight hours off duty between shifts. For cargo carrying truckers, the rest period is 10 hours off duty.

There are also limits to how many hours truckers can drive on a rolling seven to eight-day basis. This is to help ensure that truckers have time to rest for more than just the minimal number of hours per shift.

The trucker's log can come into the picture when someone is in an accident that was caused by the semi-truck. In this case, determining if the regulations were followed or not might be something that becomes a pivotal point in the case. Learning how this applies to your case might help you.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Summary of Hours of Service Regulations," accessed July 14, 2017

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