The Most Common Hours of Service Violations: What You Need to Know
In the world of trucking, there are strict rules and regulations designed to maintain safety on the roads. One of these regulations is the Hours of Service (HOS) rules, which limit the number of hours a commercial driver can be on duty and behind the wheel. Despite these regulations, HOS violations are common and often lead to devastating accidents. Denver Trial Lawyers sheds light on the most common HOS violations.
1. Exceeding On-Duty Driving Limits
One of the most frequent HOS violations involves drivers operating past their allowed hours of on-duty driving limits1. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) stipulates that a driver cannot drive more than 11 total hours during their 14-hour window2. Overstepping these limits can lead to fatigue, decreased alertness, and, ultimately, an increased risk of accidents.
2. Ignoring Off-Duty Requirements
Another common violation is when drivers hit the road before they've completed their mandatory off-duty hours. According to FMCSA rules, drivers must have a rest period of at least 10 consecutive hours before starting a new 14-hour driving window. This rule is crucial as it ensures drivers get adequate rest between shifts.
3. Skipping Mandatory Breaks
The FMCSA also requires drivers to take a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving. This rule aims to prevent fatigue by providing drivers with regular breaks during long periods of driving. However, some drivers skip these mandatory breaks, which can lead to exhaustion and, potentially, accidents.
4. Falsification of Logs
Falsifying logbooks is another significant issue. Some drivers or trucking companies alter their logs to appear compliant with HOS rules, even when they're not. This dishonest practice can lead to drivers operating their vehicles while dangerously fatigued.
5. Violating the 70-Hour, 8-Day Rule
Lastly, many drivers violate the 70-hour, 8-day rule. This regulation states that drivers cannot drive more than 70 hours within any 8 consecutive days. Once they reach this limit, they must take a 34-hour rest period before starting a new 8-day period. This rule is often overlooked, leading to overworked and overtired drivers on the road.
Understanding these common HOS violations is crucial, especially if you've been involved in a truck accident. If a driver's non-compliance with HOS regulations caused your accident, you might have a strong case for compensation. If you or a loved one has been affected by a truck accident, don't hesitate to reach out for legal advice. We're here to help you navigate the complexities of personal injury law and fight for the justice you deserve.
Contact Denver Trial Lawyers® today at (303) 647-9990 for a free consultation. There are no fees unless we win.