Truck collisions in Norfolk and Virginia Beach often lead to severe injuries, substantial property damage, and fatalities. To mitigate the risks associated with drowsy driving wrecks, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has implemented hours of service regulations for truckers. These regulations differ for property-carrying and passenger-carrying trucks. If you were hurt in a truck collision, you should retain the experienced truck accident lawyers at Tavss Fletcher, who can determine if violations of these regulations may have caused your crash and can fight for the compensation you are entitled to under Virginia law.
Essential Hours of Service Rules for Property Carrying Truck Drivers
Understanding the hours of service regulations that govern cargo-carrying truck drivers is essential when evaluating a potential violation that may have led to a truck accident. Here are the critical rules that truckers must abide by.
11-Hour Driving Limit
Truck drivers can only drive a maximum of 11 hours of consecutive driving after a 10-hour off-duty period. This restriction aims to prevent fatigue-related collisions caused by extended periods of driving without sufficient rest.
14-Hour Driving Limit
Cargo-carrying truck drivers must complete all on-duty tasks, including driving, within a period of 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty. This includes driving, completing log book entries, conducting inspections of their truck, and any other duties.
Truck drivers must take a break of at least 30 minutes after a maximum of eight hours of consecutive driving. This requirement can be met by 30 consecutive minutes of performing non-driving on-duty jobs, being off-duty, or spending time in their sleeper berth.
60/70 Hour Limit
Cargo-carrying truck drivers are subject to a weekly limit on the number of hours they can be on duty. They are prohibited from driving after being on duty for 60 hours in a seven-day period or 70 hours in an eight-day period. Once this limit is reached, drivers must take a minimum of 34 consecutive hours off-duty before they can resume their duties.
Important Hours of Service Rules for Passenger Carrying Drivers
Passenger-carrying drivers are held to slightly different hours of service rules due to the different nature of their responsibilities. Here are the key regulations that govern these truckers.
10-Hour Driving Limit
Passenger-carrying truck drivers are limited to a maximum of 10 hours of consecutive driving after eight hours off-duty. They are not permitted to drive without a rest after they reach this driving limit.
Like cargo-carrying truckers, passenger-carrying drivers must complete all on-duty tasks, including driving, within a period of 15 consecutive hours after coming on duty. After reaching this limit, drivers must take a minimum of eight hours off duty before resuming their duties.
60/70 Hour Limit
Passenger-carrying drivers are also subject to the same weekly limit on the number of hours they can be on duty as truckers transporting cargo.
Unfortunately, truck drivers under pressure to deliver their cargo or passengers frequently violate these rules, resulting in catastrophic consequences for truck accident victims injured or killed in preventable drowsy driving wrecks.