The hours of service rules are the rules that truckers have to abide by when driving tractor-trailers. These rules are set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and trucking companies are not allowed to schedule or require drivers to work in a manner that violates these rules. Some examples from just a few of the rules include having to take a 30-minute break for every 8 hours of driving time, only being allowed to drive 11 hours at a time (only after being off-duty for at least ten consecutive hours), and not being allowed to drive more than 60 hours in 7 consecutive days.
Truck accidents can have devastating, life-changing consequences. Find out whether you may have a personal injury case and be able to sue for compensation by talking to an experienced truck accident attorney.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Hours of Service Rules?
The hours of service rules are regularly updated, and as of June 1, 2020, there were a few exceptions allowed to these rules. Truckers can violate the maximum driving hours rule by up to two hours if there are adverse weather conditions, and drivers making short-haul trips – less than 150 air miles – can drive for up to 14 hours at a time.
What Happens If a Trucker Violated the Hours of Service Rule?
The hours of service rules are in place to protect the safety of the drivers as well as others on the road, and as such, violations are taken very seriously. Truckers can face fines and even be removed from being able to work for a period of time as a consequence. Repeat offenders could even lose their commercial driving license.
Can the Trucking Company Be Held Liable?
If you were in an accident where a trucker was distracted or overtired because of working longer hours than allowed, you may also be able to hold the trucking company liable. In these types of cases, you generally need to show that the trucking company required, encouraged, or was aware of the driving violations and did nothing about it. Talking with an attorney with experience in handling truck accident cases can help you better understand who can be held liable and how.
If you were injured in a truck accident and believe that the trucker or the trucking company was at fault, our firm can help. Call (803) 888-2200 today to speak with a member of our team. We can help you better understand how the hours of service rules may apply to your situation and give you options for moving forward.