Hours of Service and Other Regulations for Semi Truck Drivers

According to the rules set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the “Hours of Service” (HOS) rule limits the number of hours that any single truck driver can continuously drive on the road.

The FMCSA’s Hours of Service regulations state that a semi truck driver can drive for a maximum of eleven continuous hours in a fourteen-hour work day. After this amount of time, they are required to take a mandatory ten hour rest period before beginning to drive again.

These laws were enacted to reduce the probability of driver fatigue - and therefore also to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities from semi truck accidents - which is one the main causes of these types of collisions throughout the United States. Although these laws have reduced the amount of fatigued drivers, some drivers do not abide by these laws due to financial incentives or tight delivery schedules.

Regulatory Terms for Semi Truck Drivers

As an attempt to enforce this law, the record of duty status is kept in a logbook. Whenever there is an accident, the logbook should be inspected to determine whether the driver violated the HOS rules. The follow parts of the log may apply to your case:

  • Work Period: The time the driver spends driving, referred to as Hours of Service (HOS) by the FMCSA.
  • Rest Period: All breaks, whether it is a stop to get gas or a lunch stop, must be logged into the record book. Drivers are required to take one thirty minute break within the first eight hours of their shift.
  • On-Duty Time: Resting in the vehicle does not count as on-duty.
  • Waiting Time: Waiting time is considered off-duty time. Failing to note waiting time is a violation of federal trucking laws.

Because numerous drivers do not abide by the federal laws regulating driving time, many drivers operate vehicles while fatigued. This fatigue can cause drivers to lose focus on the road, doze off, have low energy levels or have delayed reaction times. These impairments are regularly some of the leading causes of trucking accidents across the United States.

Contact Davis Law Group for a Free Case Evaluation

If you or a loved one was significantly injured in a semi truck accident, it is vital that you contact an experience trucking accident attorney immediately to go over your legal options. Essential information and evidence - such as the record logbook, for example - could be destroyed if you do not act quickly enough.

The attorneys at the Davis Law Group have the knowledge and expertise to preserve all of the information necessary to the negotiation of your semi truck accident claim. Contact the Davis Law Group online here or call our office at 206-727-4000 today for a free legal consultation today.

Chris Davis
Top-rated, award-winning, attorney practicing wrongful death & serious injury law in Seattle.
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