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Updates to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Hours of Service Rules

Posted on in Truck Accidents

IL injury lawyerDriving a truck can be a grueling occupation. Truck drivers must spend long periods of time behind the wheel and away from their loved ones. Sleep deprivation and drowsy driving are major concerns in the trucking industry. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that drivers who do not get enough rest are less attentive to their surroundings, slower to react, and have greater difficulty making decisions.

In order to reduce the frequency of truck accidents and bus accidents caused by fatigued drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has instituted rules that limit the number of hours truck drivers and bus drivers can drive consecutively. Modifications to these regulations go into effect on September 29, 2020.

Changes to Rules Regulating Commercial Driver Rest Breaks

The FMCSA states the changes to the Hours of Service rules are intended to provide drivers with greater flexibility without sacrificing safety. Modifications to the Hours of Service Rules include:

  • The maximum workday for short-haul drivers has been increased from 12 hours to 14 hours.
  • The driving window is extended by an additional two hours when a driver encounters adverse weather or poor road conditions.
  • The 30-minute break requirement may now be satisfied by an on-duty, non-driving break.
  • Drivers may split up their 10-hour off-duty rest period. However, one of the rest periods must be at least 2 hours long and the sleeper berth rest period must be at least 7 consecutive hours.

How Can Hours of Service Rules Affect My Car Accident Claim?

Drivers who have not gotten enough sleep can cause catastrophic accidents. The Hours of Service requirements are intended to keep both commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and other motorists safe. If a truck driver or other CMV driver’s failure to obey FMCSA rules and regulations contributes to an accident, the driver or the company the driver works for may be liable for damages. Electronic logging devices, logbooks, GPS systems, and other evidence may be used to prove that a driver ignored FMCSA Hours of Service rules.

Contact a Waukegan Truck Accident Lawyer

If you were hurt or you have lost a loved one in an accident involving a semi-truck, bus, or other commercial motor vehicle, contact The law offices of Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. You may be entitled to compensation for your property damage, medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, and other damages. Call our office at 847-662-3303 today and schedule a free consultation with one of our accomplished Lake County car accident attorneys today.

 

Sources:

https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/Documents/All_HOS_Fact_Sheets_508.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/drowsy_driving.html

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