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Hours Of Service In The Trucking Industry

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In the trucking industry, there are a lot of federal regulations that need to be followed. One of them involves hours of service. All drivers and carriers must comply with the hours of service law, which refers to the maximum amount of time truck drivers are allowed to be on duty over the course of a day. This includes driving time and rest periods.

This law is in place to prevent fatigue. Fatigue is a serious issue for all drivers, but it can be especially dangerous when the driver of an 80,000-pound truck is fatigued. Hours of service laws help keep drivers stay awake and alert and prevent semi truck accidents.

Hours of Service for Property-Carrying Trucks

Truck drivers that carry property must follow these limits:

  • 14-hour “driving window.” Also known as the 14-hour rule, this means that a truck driver cannot drive more than 14 consecutive hours. This is after having at least 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time. This window includes rest breaks and lunches.
  • 11-hour driving limit. During the driving window, a truck driver can drive for only 11 hours altogether.
  • 60-hour/7-day and 70-hour/8-day limits. These laws apply to driving and on-duty limits. What this means is that a driver cannot be on duty more than 60 hours over the course of seven days or 70 hours over the course of eight days.
  • Mandatory rest breaks. A 30-minute break is required after driving for eight continuous hours.

Exceptions

There are a couple exceptions that apply to these hours of service rules:

  • 16-hour rule. This law allows drivers to increase their workday by two hours (from 14 to 16 hours) under certain situations, such as adverse driving or weather conditions.
  • Short-haul. Short-haul drivers are not required to take a 30-minute rest break after eight hours of being on duty.
  • Drivers who also work as salespersons are not required to follow the 60-hour/7-day or 70-hour/8-day limits. 

Recordkeeping 

Drivers must keep logs to show that they are following hours of service laws and other regulations. These are also known as a record of duty status. These logs must include information such as:

  • 24-hour period grid
  • Date
  • Total miles driven
  • Name of carrier
  • Main office address
  • Truck/tractor/trailer number
  • Driver’s certification
  • Name of co-driver (if any)
  • Time zone 

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer 

When it comes to truck accidents, hours of service is a factor. When a driver works beyond hours of service regulations, accidents are more likely to occur.

If you have been involved in a semi truck crash, you will need a lot of evidence to prove your case. You need to act quickly. Get the Houston truck accident attorneys at The West Law Office, PLLC on your case right away. We will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve for your damages. Schedule a free consultation by calling 281-347-3247 or filling out the online form.

Resource:

fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-of-service

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