Driver fatigue is a known risk factor in road collisions. Fatigue can cause loss of concentration or, worse, 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 by taking a 15 minute break followed by a 30 minute break.
- 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)” or contact the Road Safety Authority on (091) 872 600.