Hours-of-Service Regulations for Commercial Vehicle Operators
Hours-of-service laws apply to most commercial vehicle operators who transport either cargo or passengers, such as 18-wheelers, delivery trucks, buses, and trains.
While these regulations vary somewhat depending on the type of vehicle involved, they are generally as follows:
- Cargo-carrying drivers may not operate a vehicle for more than 11 hours after at least 10 consecutive hours off duty
- No cargo-carrying vehicle operator may drive his/her vehicle more than 14 consecutive hours once on duty after being off duty for 10 consecutive hours
- Cargo-carrying drivers are prohibited from driving more than 60/70 hours in 7/8 consecutive days; consecutive day periods restart after at least 34 consecutive off-duty hours
- Cargo-carrying drivers may only operate their vehicle if no more than 8 hours have passed since his/her last 30-minute sleeper berth break or off-duty period (with exceptions)
The purpose of these regulations is to prevent truck driver fatigue, which can be as dangerous as impaired or intoxicated driving.
How to Tell If a Truck Driver Violated Hours-of-Service Laws
Fatigued truck drivers will often exhibit similar signs as those of someone driving while impaired or intoxicated.
Some indications that a truck driver is driving while fatigued include:
- Drifting across lanes
- Uneven driving speeds
- Slow reaction times
- Sudden jerking movements of the vehicle
- Failure to use turn signals
- Running red lights/stop signs
If you notice a truck driver engaging in any of these behaviors, steer clear. Give the truck driver a wide berth and, if necessary, contact local law enforcement to report the fatigued driver.
The best way to determine whether a truck driver violated hours-of-service regulations, however, is to examine the driver’s logbook. Truck drivers are required to record all events, including scheduled breaks and sleeper berth periods, in a logbook which they must keep in the vehicle.
At The Ammons Law Firm, our attorneys often work with a team of investigators to examine all factors that led to a truck accident. We can investigate the truck driver’s logbook to determine if he or she may have violated hours-of-service regulations.
Call Our Firm for a Free Consultation
Our Houston truck accident attorneys have a long history of success in these complex cases and have recovered over $1 billion in total on behalf of their clients. We have recovered record-setting verdicts and settlements in the state of Texas and are renowned across the United States for our fierce commitment to our clients.
If you were seriously injured or if your loved one was killed in a truck accident, we can immediately begin investigating whether the truck driver was negligent, including instances in which he or she violated hours-of-service regulations. We have extensive experience pursuing these cases, and we are fully prepared to fight tirelessly for the justice and fair recovery you deserve.
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