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Hours Of Service Rules For Truck Drivers To Help Prevent Fatigue-related Accidents

by | Sep 25, 2015 | Truck Accidents | 0 comments

Driving a truck can be physically tasking and potentially dangerous if not handled correctly. Whether the driver is transporting raw materials, hazardous liquids, or other products, it is important that he or she is well rested and capable of vigilantly driving long hours. Because truck drivers are conducting large vehicles, they must be completely alert and aware of their surroundings at all times. Fatigue or drowsiness cause drivers to lose focus and crash.

In order to limit the number of trucking accidents caused by exhaustion, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces “Hours of Service” rules for truck drivers to ensure they are well rested. According to the rules, truck drivers cannot drive more than 70 hours in a work week. For drivers that have reached their 70 hour limit in a week, they must rest for a consecutive 34 hours, before starting their next round of driving.

For every eight-hour shift, drivers must take a 30-minute rest break. Truck drivers also have a limit of driving 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Drivers also cannot drive 14 consecutive hours without following 10 consecutive hours off duty.

Drivers who must observe these rules are those who operate:

  • Trucks that have weight of 10,001 or more
  • Trucks that have a gross vehicle weight of 10,001 or more
  • Vehicles that are transporting hazardous materials that require placards because of risk or weight

These rules are enforced to ensure safety for every vehicle on the road. There is no excuse for neglecting safety to finish a job. That is why if you have been in an accident involving big rigs or other large commercial trucks, contact our San Antonio truck accident attorneys at Wyatt Law Firm. We can help our clients seek proper reparations for other drivers’ mistakes. Call today for a free consultation.