Trucking companies and their truckers are required to follow strict guidelines about their working hours. If they violate any of these rules, they are subjected to pay fines and possible civil liabilities. The federal and state governments initiate hours of service laws to avoid catastrophic accidents caused by commercial trucks due to driver fatigue. The following are the scopes of the regulations:
- Total number of hours per day – Truckers hauling properties are allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours per day. If they have been driving for 10 consecutive hours, they are allowed to have a break. During this time, they will be off duty. Furthermore, drivers are not allowed to go past their 14th consecutive hour once they’ve come off duty after their 10-hour break.
- When carrying a passenger – If drivers are carrying a passenger and have been off duty for just 8 hours, they are only allowed to drive for 10 hours in a day. In addition, if they have been on duty for 15 hours after their mandatory 8-hour break, they are not permitted to drive.
- Seven or eight days total hours – Truckers who are carrying a passenger or properties that have driven 60 hours in seven days straight or 70 hours in eight days straight are not allowed to drive. They will be able to start driving and restart their next applicable shift of consecutive seven or eight days period after their 34 hours or more continuous hours off shift.
- Rest breaks – There are further regulations on rest break that may be implemented like being able to drive only the time passed since the end of the driver’s current off shift period of a 30-minute minimum is 8 hours or less. However, there are exceptions to this like those truckers doing short-haul
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Both the trucking company and their drivers must comply with regulations set by the state and federal. If truck drivers who are involved in a crash violate any of these regulations that are promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, it may be used against them as evidence in a case. It can usually mean that a breach of duty has been made by the driver, which is one of the essential components when creating a negligence claim.