Trucking Accidents

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 some circumstances.

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.

Driver Logbooks

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.

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To schedule a detailed consultation with one of our Nashville personal injury lawyers about medical malpractice, a catastrophic accident, or wrongful death, contact our office today. Let us put our team of respected legal professionals, independent investigators, and medical experts to work on your case immediately.

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