Professional commercial driver safety

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Professional driver safety

How many hours can you drive without a break?

How many hours can you drive in a day?

If you are a bus or truck operator, more than any other driver on the road, you understand that the priorities must be the health, safety and welfare of your staff, passengers and other road users.

All professional drivers should be aware of the health and safety and risk assessments into all aspects of their transport business.

The other major focus of your business is meeting obligations regarding general road safety.

Driver hours for professional drivers

Driver fatigue is a well-known risk factor in road collisions. Driver fatigue causes loss of concentration and can lead to a driver falling asleep at the wheel. Fatigue is a significant factor in heavy commercial vehicle crashes.

EU law regulates the driving time of professional drivers using goods vehicles over 3.5t (including trailers) and passenger vehicles with more than 8 passenger seats.

The key requirements are that you must not drive:

    • Without a break for more than 4.5 hours. After driving for 4.5 hours, a break of at least 45 minutes is mandatory.  You can distribute that break over the 4.5 hours.
    • For more than nine hours per day or 56 hours per week. This may be extended to 10 hours no more than twice during a week
    • More than 90 hours in two consecutive weeks

There are also strict regulations regarding the average working time and the amount of rest that must be taken daily and weekly.

For more information about driver hours/working time, see the RSA booklets “EU Rules on Drivers’ Hours(PDF)” & Guide to the Road Transport Working Time Directive (PDF)".

Important reminders for all drivers

    • Don't Dink & Drive
    • Don’t speed
    • Avoid distractions
    • Don’t drive while drowsy
    • Wear your seat belt


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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