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Hours of service

The hours of service regulations governing the trucking industry are designed to ensure the safety of truckers, motorists, and other road users. These rules, enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, dictate the maximum amount of time truck drivers can spend on-duty and behind the wheel within a specific time period. By following these regulations, truckers can maintain their alertness, minimize fatigue-related accidents, and safeguard their well-being. Violating the hours of service rules can have severe consequences, both for the trucker and the public.
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    What are the Hours of service rules?

    Maximum driving time

    The HOS rules specify the maximum number of hours a truck driver can spend behind the wheel. The general rule for property-carrying CMV drivers is the 11-hour driving limit, which means they can drive a maximum of 11 consecutive hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Passenger-carrying CMV drivers, on the other hand, have a 10-hour driving limit.

    14-hour duty limitbility

    The HOS rules also include a 14-hour duty limit for property-carrying CMV drivers. This means that after coming on duty, a driver cannot drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour.
    Rest Breaks. To ensure drivers get adequate rest, the HOS rules require rest breaks during the duty period. A property-carrying CMV driver must take a minimum 30-minute break after 8 hours of consecutive driving. This break can be taken in multiple segments but should add up to at least 30 minutes.

    Weekly limits

    The HOS rules also establish limits on the total number of hours a driver can work in a week. For property-carrying CMV drivers, the maximum is 60 hours in 7 consecutive days or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days if the motor carrier operates every day of the week. Once these limits are reached, a driver must take a rest period of at least 34 consecutive hours, including two periods between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

    Sleeper berth provision

    The HOS rules provide flexibility for drivers who utilize the sleeper berth in their rest periods. Drivers can split their required 10 hours of off-duty time into two periods, with one being at least 7 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and the other at least 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off-duty, or a combination of both.


    What are the Dangers of Violating the HOS Rules?

    The dangers of violating the hours of service rules are significant. When drivers exceed their maximum allowable driving time, they become prone to fatigue, impairing their cognitive abilities and increasing the likelihood of accidents.

    In the event of an auto accident involving a passenger vehicle and a commercial truck, a truck accident lawyer can use hours of service violations as crucial evidence against the truck driver. An attorney can investigate whether the driver exceeded their driving time limits or failed to take mandatory rest breaks. These violations can establish negligence on the part of the truck driver, showing that their fatigue or drowsiness contributed to the accident.


    Contact Us Today!

    If you were in a motor vehicle collision involving a commercial truck, contact a truck accident lawyer at MVP Accident Attorneys to schedule a free consultation. At our meeting, you can discuss your case, learn about your legal rights and options and find out how we can help you recover the fair settlement you deserve.

    Speak with a truck accident attorney at our firm today to learn more.


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    Brett Sachs

    Brett S. Sachs graduated from Michigan State University College of Law with Cum Laude Honors. While attending Michigan State, Brett was awarded for his service in the Michigan State University College of Law Civil Rights Clinic, where he represented prisoners of the Michigan Department of Corrections from injustices brought upon them. Learn more.

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