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How Many Hours Can a Trucker Drive in Colorado?

Colorado truck drivers spend the majority of their working lives on the road, often under immense pressure to get to a destination as quickly as possible. As a means of ensuring the safety of these drivers and the nation’s highways, federal law limits how many hours a truck driver can drive, just as most other states do across the nation. 

When a truck driver breaks those laws and ends up in an accident, a trucking insurance policy can cover injury costs like medical bills and lost wages. 

Who Sets Truck Driver Regulations in Colorado?

Some states choose to set certain restrictions on truck drivers; one common example is the use of truck lanes, wherein truck drivers are restricted to traveling in the far right lanes of highways and other major roadways.

Be that as it may, the majority of trucking regulations aren’t determined by state laws; instead, most trucking regulations are set by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) that has the authority to set regulations in all states, including Colorado. 

Laws About Truck Driver Hours in Colorado

The FMCSA’s rules regarding the number of hours a truck driver can drive (in Colorado or elsewhere) are known as “Hours of Service” (HOS) regulations. Unfortunately, they can be a bit complicated to understand, as they take into account how many shifts the trucker has worked and how much time off they’ve had between shifts. 

Nevertheless, drivers of cargo trucks (and other trucks carrying property as opposed to passengers) generally cannot drive for more than 11 consecutive hours. Further, they can only do so after they have been off-duty for at least 10 hours beforehand. 

Truck drivers are also required to take a 30-minute break after every eight hours of consecutive driving. Any shorter breaks less than 30 minutes long count toward the consecutive driving hours. For example, if a trucker makes a five-minute stop to use the restroom, that brief stop is considered part of the eight hours of consecutive driving and doesn’t count as a break.

Additional Laws About Truck Driving Hour Limitations

The DOT also specifies additional laws when it comes to how much time a Colorado truck driver can spend behind the wheel. Chief truck driving hour limitations to know about include the following: 

  • You cannot drive more than 60 hours in seven consecutive days on duty
  • You cannot drive more than 70 hours in eight consecutive days on duty
  • You must spend 34 consecutive hours off duty before a new seven or eight-day shift
  • Drivers can add two hours to the 11 and 14-hour limits if driving in adverse conditions

Altogether, these laws mean that if a truck driver works a seven or eight-day shift, they can spend 14 hours on duty and 10 hours off-duty. 

There are additional laws about how a truck driver can spend those ten off-duty hours; they can be split into two consecutive hours of no driving and at least seven consecutive hours spent in a sleeper berth.

Explore Your Options for Truck Accident Compensation

Though truck driver driving limitations are carefully regulated to reduce fatigue-related truck accidents, driver fatigue is still a leading cause of truck accidents

When a truck driver fails to adhere to these regulations and ends up causing an accident, it’s not hard for a truck accident lawyer to prove they acted negligently. A trucker who ignores safety regulations puts everyone else on the road at risk. 

That said, if you’ve been injured in a trucking collision, a truck accident attorney can help you hold the negligent party responsible and fight to help you recover the compensation you need.

Contact our Denver Truck Accident Law Firm Today For Help

For more information please contact Zaner Harden Law, LLP to schedule a free initial consultation with a Denver truck accident lawyer.

Zaner Harden Law, LLP

1610 Wynkoop Street, Suite 120. Denver, CO 80202
(720) 613 9706
24/7

Where We Are

We are located across the street from Union Station in downtown Denver and offer validated parking for all our clients. We also have offices in Boulder and Colorado Springs.