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What are Hours of Service regulations for truckers?

Truck drivers have a variety of laws and regulations that they must follow when they are hauling loads across the highways. Most truckers have to comply with Hours of Service regulations that are set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These regulations are aimed at keeping the people on the roadways safe while they share the road with semi-trucks.

What are the regulations for cargo-carrying truckers?

Cargo-carrying truckers have regulations that allow them to drive for a total of 11 hours per day. In between 11-hour shifts, they must have at least 10 hours off duty. If the trucker has other duties besides driving, they can work a total of 14 hours in a shift, but can only drive for 11 hours. They aren't allowed to work past the 14th hour of work. That means that if they load the truck for four hours, they only have 10 hours left on the shift that they can drive the truck. Other rest break regulations and weekly regulations are also present.

What are the regulations for passenger-carrying truckers?

Passenger-carrying truckers, such as bus drivers, have lower limits for driving hours. They can only drive for 10 hours per shift and must have eight hours off between shifts. If they have duties other than driving, they can't drive past their 15th hour on duty. That means that if they are on duty for eight hours but not driving during that time, they only have seven hours of driving time available. Weekly limits are also present.

If you were injured in an accident with a semi-truck or bus, the log book or electronic log of the driver's hours might give you a clue about whether the driver was in compliance with these regulations or not. That might be a critical piece of evidence if you choose to seek compensation.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Summary of Hours of Service Regulations," accessed Dec. 18, 2015

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Hertel Law, S.C.
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