Hours of Service Regulations & Driver Fatigue
Holding Trucking Companies Responsible for HOS Violations
The National Transportation Safety Board recently reported that trucker
fatigue is a widespread and potentially catastrophic issue. Experts estimate
that fatigue puts millions of drivers at risk
per day. It is currently one of the leading causes of
truck accidents—it is a factor in no less than
13% of fatal collisions caused by truckers. Falling asleep at the wheel isn’t
just an accident; it is an act of negligence. Truck drivers can be held
responsible for violating the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, and
employers can be held responsible for their driver’s actions in
If you or someone you love was involved in an accident with a semi truck,
contact our Nashville truck accident attorneys today for a free evaluation
of your case.
Overview of Hours of Service Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has detailed all
the major HOS rules on its website, broken down by property and passenger
carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).
Some of the
major HOS regulations include:
- 11-hour driving limit for property carrying truckers after taking a minimum
of 10 off-duty hours.
- Property carrying truckers cannot drive more than 14 hours after coming
onto duty after a 10-hour off-duty period.
- Property carrying drivers cannot exceed eight hours of driving without
having taken a 30-minute minimum resting period in their sleeper berth.
- Property carrying truck drivers cannot drive more than 60 hours in seven
consecutive days, or more than 70 hours in eight consecutive days.
Drivers are required to log all of their driving, resting breaks, and off-duty
hours in a logbook. For some companies, logbooks are digital. You can view an
example of a driver logbook here. Employers are required to evaluate these driver logs to identify any
HOS violations. It is also a violation to manipulate logbooks, and for
employers to neglect evaluating logbooks.
Why do truckers drive tired?
Truck drivers may be under immense pressure in some situations to deliver
their cargo within a small window. Some truckers are paid by how many
loads they deliver, which can increase the temptation to drive faster
and skip mandated resting breaks. Other drivers may be well rested, but
have to drive through the night. Driving at night or during early morning
hours may contribute to fatigue just as much as sleeplessness does.
How We Can Help
Our firm has more than 100 years of collective experience on our side,
and we have been voted one of the “Best Law Firms” by U.S.
News in the area of Personal Injury Law for Plaintiffs. We know how to
handle trucking accident cases for victims and their families effectively.
If you or a loved one was involved in an accident with a large truck, we
invite you to contact Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge today for a free
evaluation of your legal rights and options.