Hours of Service Rules & Drowsy Truck Drivers

Posted By Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge || Apr 22, 2016

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration created the Hours of Service Regulations to protect both truck drivers and other vehicles on the road. Too often, drivers will violate these rules in order to meet their deadlines. However, when they do this, they risk making fatal mistakes caused by fatigue. When an individual is too tired to drive, he or she is not alert and cannot respond quickly enough to potential obstacles.

Truck accidents happen too frequently. One in 10 highway deaths involve an accident with a large truck (IIHS). Given its large size and weight, commercial trucks take longer to brake and can cause more damage to other vehicles. Drowsiness and fatigue is one of the leading causes of these accidents.

The following must comply with the hours of service rule:

  • Trucks that weigh more than 10,000.
  • Vehicles designed to transport 16 passengers or more.
  • Trucks transporting hazardous materials.

The hours of service limit the number of hours a driver can operate their trucks.

Property-carrying drivers must abide be the following rules:

  • Drivers may drive up to 11 hours after 10 hours consecutively off duty.
  • Drivers may not drive longer than 14 consecutive hours, even after 10 consecutive hours off.
  • Drivers may only drive if 8 hours have passed between their last end of day on duty.
  • Drivers may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty for 7/8 consecutive days.

When truck drivers fail to adhere to the hours of service regulations, they violate the law. Because their fatigue causes them to make judgement errors, they place others on the road at risk. If you or a loved one was injured because the other person was driving while drowsy, contact our Nashville truck accident attorneys. We offer free consultations where we will review your case and inform you of your rights.

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