Snow, sleet, fog, adverse weather conditions, and adverse road conditions can lengthen your trip – because they slow traffic and your planned progress. The answer to this problem may be the adverse driving conditions exception. While we all know there is such a provision, not all of us know how to use it properly.
The federal regulation reads, “A driver who encounters ‘adverse driving conditions’ and because of those conditions cannot complete a run in the maximum time allowed ( 11 hours a day for property-hauling carriers ) may drive an additional two hours to either complete the run or find a safe place to stop.”
The law is simple; however, there are some conditions:
- The driver MAY NOT drive for more than 13 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty
- The driver MAY NOT drive after having been on duty 14 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty
- The driver MAY NOT drive if more than 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver’s last off duty time of at least 30 minutes
- The driver MUST note in the open field of his log book that he has driven more than 11 hours using the “adverse driving conditions exception”.
Often the best advice when road and weather conditions are foul is to pull off the highway and wait out the situation in safety. However, if you must continue driving to reach a safe harbor, the regulations provide you with this two hour cushion.