What are the "Hours of Service" Regulations?

semi truck at sunsetThe trucking industry is a vital one to the economy in the United States. We all rely on these large trucks and their drivers to get consumer goods in a timely manner. Unfortunately, while they are needed in many situations, they can also be dangerous if various regulations are not followed.

One of the many regulations that truck drivers and companies must follow is the Hours of Service regulations. This is put in place to prevent fatigued driving regardless of whether the driver is carrying property or passengers. Here are some things to know about HOS regulations.

Property-Carrying Drivers

For property-carrying drivers, the maximum number of hours they can drive is 11 hours but only after 10 consecutive hours off duty. They also cannot drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour following 10 consecutive hours off duty and the off duty time doesn’t extend that 14-hour period.

Property-carrying drivers must also take rest breaks. They can only drive if 8 hours or less pass since the last off-duty period or sleeper berth period of a minimum of 30 minutes. Finally, they may not drive after a total of 60 or 70 hours on duty in a matter of 7 or 8 consecutive days, respectively.

Passenger-Carrying Drivers

Passenger-carrying drivers have different limits when operating their trucks. For instance, they may only drive up to 10 hours after an 8 hour off-duty period. Also, they may not drive after being on duty for 15 hours following 8 hours of off-duty time.

Passenger-carrying drivers have sleeper berth provisions and they must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth. The time may be split into two periods with neither less than 2 hours. Similar to property-carrying drivers, passenger-carrying drivers must follow the 60/70 hour limit.

If a truck driver does not follow these regulations or if the trucking company encourages the driver to keep going in order to make a deadline, it can lead to a serious crash. In this case, the trucking company or driver may be considered liable for any injury that may be sustained as a result.

At The Beasley Firm, we have experienced Philadelphia truck accident lawyers who can help find the evidence necessary to hold the driver or company accountable when they fail to follow the Hours of Service regulations. We’re ready to help injured individuals protect their rights.

For a free case evaluation, we encourage you to contact us today.