Truck driver sleeping in the sleeper berth of a truck

What is the Split Sleeper Berth Rule?

What is a Sleeper Berth?

A sleeper berth is a compartment in a truck that is constructed to give drivers a place to rest and sleep. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidelines, a sleeper berth must be equipped with essential sleeping items, such as bedding, blankets, springs, and a mattress. It must also be located in an area with adequate ventilation and protection from exhaust, dust, and rain.

Since truckers have an obligation to follow regulations and hours of service rules, they often come across the challenges of getting goods delivered quickly and by deadlines when they are limited to the amount of time they can drive. To rectify this problem, the FMCSA has proposed a pilot program to give truck drivers more flexibility. Here’s what you need to know.

How Does the New Sleeper Berth Rule Work?

The new split sleeper berth rule gives truck drivers the flexibility to extend their driving shifts by splitting the required ten consecutive hours off duty into two shifts. This gives truck drivers the option to make hours off adjustments accordingly to go for longer hauls. Truck drivers who wish to use this new rule under hours-of-service provisions may split sleeper berth time into two periods, as long as neither period is less than two hours.

Will The New Sleeper Berth Rule Have an Impact on Road Safety?

According to Transport Topics, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety are not happy about the new split sleeper berth rule. Their concern is that increased flexibility for drivers can heighten the problem of driver fatigue.

The Effects of Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of semi-truck crashes, and other motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. According to The National Sleep Foundation, people who only get six to seven hours of sleep a night are twice as likely to be involved in a crash than those sleeping 8 hours or more. Sleeping less than 5 hours increases the risk up to 5 times more.

Hurt in a Truck Accident? Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC Can Help.

Being involved in a truck accident is a scary experience. When catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries result, it can make it that much more stressful. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck crash due to another’s negligence, Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC is ready to help you seek justice and the compensation you deserve. When going through a difficult time, our team of caring attorneys will guide you through the process with understanding and support.

Learn how we may assist you by calling (502) 242-8872 today.

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