Because fatigued truck driving is a serious problem in the trucking industry, federal rules called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hours-of-service regulations have been established. These rules restrict the hours that a truck driver can be on the road during defined stretches of time, and they require truckers and trucking companies to keep detailed records of these hours. For instance, under the current hours-of-service regulations, a trucker can be on the road for no more than 14 hours which is then preceded by a mandated 10 straight hours off duty. During this 14-hour on duty period, you have a limit of actual driving time being 11 hours. These regulations have been formulated by scientific testing to guarantee as far as possible that drivers have the necessary rest in order to drive without fatigue.
Those who are required to comply with these regulations are most truck drivers and commercial motor vehicle drivers. Truckers are required by law to keep a log for recording their hours. Any person who is subject to these regulations must complete this log for every day of driving. Many trucking accidents that have been looked into have unfortunately revealed that the trucker had been on the road too long. The trucker can be held liable in these cases, and so can a company if it can be proved that they encouraged the driver to violate the hours-of-service regulations in order to meet a delivery deadline. There may be some cases as well where the driver simply forgot how long he had been driving and consequently fell asleep at the wheel. There are certain exceptions to the FMCSA hours of service regulations, and to ascertain what the right course of action is in a particular case, it would be best to defer to those set of rules.