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Hours of Service Regulations Help Prevent Commercial Truck Accidents

Car accidents are scary enough—but few things are more terrifying than seeing an 18-wheeler barreling toward your vehicle. Truck accidents can cause serious property damage and bodily injury, and even kill you or your loved ones. Unfortunately, many truck accidents happen because commercial truckers spend too much time behind the wheel—in violation of federal regulations.

Semi truck driving along a road on the coastWhat Are Hours of Service Regulations?

Driving a large commercial vehicle takes concentration and skill, and hours of service (HOS) regulations were put in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to reduce truck driver fatigue.

When any driver operates a vehicle under mental stress or while sleep-deprived, bad things happen; these consequences are exacerbated when the driver operates a semi-truck. Following is a summary of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s HOS regulations:

  • 11-Hour Driving Limit: A trucker may drive for no more than 11 consecutive hours. After that, he or she must rest for the equivalent of 10 consecutive hours before getting behind the wheel again.
  • 14-Hour Driving Window: Truckers have a window of 14 hours in which to drive a maximum of 11 hours. Once they have been on duty for 14 consecutive hours, they may no longer drive and must rest for the equivalent of 10 consecutive hours before getting on the road again.
  • Rest Breaks: Truckers must take a rest break once 8 hours has passed since their last off-duty period of 30 minutes or more.

Why Are Hours of Service Regulations Important?

In 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 3,903 fatalities caused by large trucks. And while many truck drivers and trucking firms follow safe driving rules because it is the right thing to do, the HOS regulations are important because they help protect the motoring public from those drivers and trucking companies who might be inclined to push the limits of safety and good judgment in order to shave a few hours from their delivery times.

The Aftermath of a Truck Accident

Truck accidents are often serious, and the resulting injuries can be life altering. If you’ve been involved in a truck wreck, you are likely struggling with your injuries, costly medical bills, and lost wages. If you are looking for an experienced legal advocate to help you build a case against the at-fault truck driver or trucking company, start a live chat with us today!

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