Trucking laws differ from standard automobile laws, and they’re often more confusing. As an agency of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the number of operating hours for truck drivers at a given time. These are among the most important regulations and are in place to ensure drivers get the rest they need.

General Guidelines for Hours

There are regulations in place for different drivers: those who carry property and others who carry passengers.

Of those classes, there are specific rules for passenger carriers, which can drive fewer hours per day with less rest, and even further distinctions for property and freight haulers.

Drivers who transport property intrastate are subject to state regulations but not federal regulations. Whereas drivers who deliver materials interstate must comply with federal regulations. Among the regulations:

  • A reset occurs when a driver marks 34 consecutive hours off-duty. The workweek starts after that last legal reset. For example, if a workweek begins at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, it continues until 5 a.m. the following Tuesday
  • Each duty period must begin with at least 10 hours off duty
  • Drivers may work no more than 60 hours of on-duty service over seven consecutive days or 70 hours over eight days. They also need to maintain a driver’s log for seven days and eight days after, respectively
  • Drivers may be on duty for up to 14 hours following 10 hours off duty, but they are limited to 11 hours of driving time
  • Drivers must take a mandatory 30-minute break by their eighth hour of on-duty service
  • The 14-hour duty period may not be extended with “off-duty” breaks, meals, fuel stops, etc.

Adverse Driving Exception

This exception allows drivers to extend their drive time by up to two hours if inclement weather delays or slows down their driving time. In all cases, the driver may not exceed 14 hours on the road consecutively.


Trucking rules are often vague and careless drivers can end up causing an accident. If you find yourself involved in an incident in Arizona due to the negligence of a truck driver, your first call should be to the team at Rabb & Rabb, PLLC. Call (520) 888-6740 today to learn more.

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