The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), has a number of federal regulations in place that control hours of operation for truck drivers and various other rules to keep truck drivers (and others on the road) safe.
Here’s a quick look at some of these rules that affect the trucking industry, and occasionally play a role in personal injury cases.
Hours of service
There are specific hour of service requirements drivers must follow to avoid fatigued driving, which is a major issue for long-haul truckers. Drivers cannot work more than 60 hours over seven consecutive days or 70 hours over eight days. They can only be on duty up ot 14 hours after 10 hours off duty, and can only have 11 hours of driving time in that 14 hours. Drivers are required to take at least a half hour break by their eighth hour of duty.
There are federal rules that allow drivers to extend drive times by two hours when delayed due to adverse conditions, such as snow or fog, or unforeseen traffic incidents slowing down traffic. If drivers are not able to complete their run within the 11 hours, they can drive up to an additional two hours, but may not drive after the 14th hour of coming on duty. If weather conditions do not allow the driver to et to a hotel or rest stop and stop for 10 hours off-duty, the driver is able to extend drive time up to two hours.
There are penalties in place for violations of these service rules, including shutting down drivers, fines, and criminal penalties for willful and regular violations.
For more thorough information about DOT rules for the trucking industry and how they could affect truck accident claims, contact an experienced Bradenton, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.