Truckers who are fatigued are as dangerous on the roads as those who are drunk. The longer they go without sleep, the worse the effects. The federal government has instituted hours of service regulations to help prevent truckers from trying to push the limits on how long they can drive before they pull over and get some rest.
There are several different components of these regulations. They are divided into a set of rules for truckers who carry cargo and a slightly different set for the ones who transport people. The primary rule that people tend to focus on is how long these commercial drivers can operate the vehicle per shift.
These drivers often have to do other duties, so that has to be factored into the limits. If a property-hauling trucker has other duties, they can’t drive beyond the 14th hour of working or the 11th hour of driving, whichever comes first. Someone who is transporting people can’t drive beyond their 15th-hour working or their 10th-hour driving, whichever comes first.
The rest breaks between shifts are also slightly different. Individuals hauling cargo must have 10 hours off work between shifts, and those carrying people must have 8 hours off between shifts. This is the time when they are expected to get rest.
The victims of trucking crashes might not realize what impact these regulations can have on their claim for compensation. Truckers must keep logs of specific information when they drive. Using these may be helpful in showing that the trucker was driving too long and was likely suffering from fatigue. Find out how an attorney can help you better understand how an “hours of service” violation might affect your claim.