Rancho Cordova Truck Accident Attorney
Does Federal Law Limit The Hours That A Truck Can Be On The Road?
Fully-loaded tractor-trailers barreling down the roadway can be dangerous and a potential threat to the passenger vehicles that share the road with them. What can make these large vehicles especially dangerous is if the driver behind the wheel of the truck is fatigued or overtired. The impairment caused by fatigue or over-tiredness can be compared to the affect that alcohol intoxication has on a driver’s ability to react to and perceive threats or dangerous situations when driving. All too often truck driver fatigue can lead to devastating and fatal accidents.
Combating Truck Driver Fatigue
In order to combat truck driver fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created hours-of-service regulations that limit how long a truck driver may drive a commercial vehicle or truck without taking a break. The goal of the hours-of-service regulations is to reduce excessively long work hours that have the potential to increase the risk of fatigue-related accidents and long-term health problems for truck drivers.
Truck driver Hours of Service Regulations
The majority of truck drivers who drive a commercial vehicle or truck must follow these hours-of-service regulations. Generally, a truck falls under these regulations if they are used for business purposes and they are driving across state lines. Trucks designed to carry paying passengers may also fall under the hours-of-service regulations. These regulations are somewhat complex and have been the subject of ongoing litigation between the trucking industry and consumer safety organizations.
In summary, the regulations provide the following:
- Truck drivers that carry goods or property are not allowed drive more than eleven hours after only ten straight off-duty hours;
- Truck drivers are prohibited from operating commercial vehicles if they were on duty for fourteen hours after only ten straight off-duty hours;
- Truck drivers that carry passengers are not allowed to drive more than ten hours after only eight straight off-duty hours, or to operate a commercial vehicle if they were on duty for fifteen hours after only eight straight off-duty hours;
- Truck drivers are prohibited from operating a commercial vehicle after being on duty for sixty hours in any seven straight days, if their employer does not operate commercial vehicles every day of the week, and are prohibited from operating commercial vehicles after working seventy hours in any eight days if their employer operates commercial vehicles every day. Drivers may restart this 60/70-hour clock after taking thirty-four or more straight hours off duty. Originally, this restart provision required two periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., and was only to be used once per week. However, the enforcement of this requirement has been suspended until a report on commercial motor vehicle restart is submitted to Congress.
- Truck drivers cannot drive if more than eight hours have passed since the end of the driver’s last 30-minute break.
Rancho Cordova Truck Accident Attorney
Trucking accidents can be devastating and serious. While most truck drivers are required to follow the hours-of-service regulations, oftentimes, accidents involving large trucks are the result of driver fatigue and the violation of these hours-of-service regulations.
If you or a loved one are involved in a trucking accident, it is important that you consult with an experienced Rancho Cordova Truck Accident Attorney right away.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious accident involving a large truck or commercial vehicle, call me now at (916) 921-6400, or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.
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