Hours of Service regulations are designed to prevent truck drivers from becoming fatigued. The regulations limit the number of hours a driver can operate a commercial motor vehicle and mandate that drivers take periodic breaks. In addition, the regulations restrict the times of day when a driver can be on the road.
While these regulations may seem like a hassle, they are essential for ensuring the safety of both truck drivers and the motoring public. By preventing truck drivers from operating their vehicles for long periods of time without rest, the regulations help to reduce the risk of accidents.
And by limiting the hours when truckers can be on the road, the regulations help to reduce traffic congestion and improve highway safety. Despite the inconvenience, it is clear that hours-of-service regulations are necessary to protect both drivers and the public.
How Long Can Truck Drivers Work?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets the Hours of Service (HOS) limits for truck drivers. The HOS rules are designed to prevent driver fatigue and improve safety on the nation’s highways. The rules limit the number of hours a driver can work, as well as the number of consecutive hours that a driver can be on duty.
Drivers must take a break after eight hours of driving, and they must take a 30-minute break after every eight consecutive hours on duty. Drivers can work a maximum of 60 hours in a seven-day period, or 70 hours in an eight-day period. However, they may not drive more than 11 hours in a day, and they must take a 34-hour break after working 60 or 70 hours in a week.
These rules help to ensure that truck drivers are well rested and alert when they are behind the wheel.
What Happens When the Hours of Service Regulations Are Violated?
Violating these regulations can lead to fatigued driving, which can be dangerous for both the driver and other motorists. When a driver is cited for violating the hours of service regulations, they may be required to pay a fine or have their commercial driver's license suspended.
In some cases, they may also be placed out of service, which means they cannot operate a commercial vehicle until they have completed a rest period. Drivers who violate the hours of service regulations may also be subject to an investigation by the motor carrier safety administration.
Our Los Angeles trucking accident lawyers at BD&J, PC are here to help you understand your rights.