There are a set of general rules that commercial truck drivers must abide by in order to avoid damages caused by casualties. These accidents are often caused due to minimal rest hours or drowsy driving. There have been about 71,000 injuries and 1550 deaths due to truck accidents every year. With drivers spending extended hours on roads every year, trucking companies have also been exacerbated for abetting such dangerous tasks. Semi Truck Wreck Lawyer Houston, TX, guides you through certain rules related to truck driving and their service hours.
Service Laws for Interstate Truck Driving
Having recognized the profound danger faced by truck drivers, lawmakers have greatly responded to the situation by limiting driving hours. This includes imposition on the individual truck driver when it comes to operating the vehicle and also a substantial fine for violating the rules. This is a potential attempt undertaken by lawmakers to curb the fatigue of driving and give drivers the adequate number of resting hours that they need.
At the federal level, the FMCSA has set a definite rulebook for interstate drivers with the help of Semi Truck Wreck Lawyer Houston, TX. `
Hours of service law by FMCSA:
- The driver must be subjected to at least 10 off-duty shifts before going ahead on a new one.
- After 10 hours of off shift, the driver must only go ahead with shifts ranging from 12-14 consecutive hours. These shift hours also include loading, unloading and other miscellaneous duties.
- During the entire 14 hours of duty, the driver must be subjected to the road for only 10-11 hours.
- For every 8 hours of journey, 30 minutes of break is a must.
- Being exposed to a shift of 60 hours of driving within 7 consecutive days is barred per the current rules. A new shift must be restarted after 34 hours of journey.
- The drivers also need to update a regular log of their driving records at a regular intervals of time that must comply with the above-mentioned laws.
However, these laws come with a set of exceptions that lets a sense of liberality in the compliance of the same. They are:
- Due to extremely poor and adverse weather conditions, the 11 hours of shift can be changed and extended to two extra hours. This is an exception just in the case of poor weather.
- Driving limits are also known to be relaxed from the 10th to 25th of December in order to make the department and store deliveries easy for the holidays. However, this is usually done within a 100-mile radius of the work location.
These implications, as stated by the Semi Truck Wreck Lawyer Houston, TX, however, vary with the truck drivers who operate within the Texas state lines. Let’s take a brief guide through the same.
Current hours for service rules for Intrastate drivers
- The truck drivers need to have a minimum of 8 hours off-duty before a regular shift.
- After the off shift, the driver is allowed to continue for 15 straight hours only.
- The drivers are allowed to stay on the road for only 12 straight hours, and this includes 30 minutes of break.
- A driver is allowed to be on duty for at most 70 hours, considered for a period of 7 days.
These rules are a bit more permissive, considering only their sole operation in the Texas premises. These rules also come in handy with any accidents or other inconveniences. There are several implications for drivers who need to abide by federal rules. They are:
- A heavy number of fines are charged to truckers if they are found to go against the service rule hours.
- In case of a truck Collision or an accident, if the truck driver is found to have violated any of the applicable service hours of driving, solid proof of negligence can be imposed on the driver.
- This may be later on followed by not covering up their insurance and other funds that are required to compensate for the accident.
- Even in cases where the driver has failed to prove certain accidental causes, it must be first seen that the legal limits are still followed with all due respect.
If there is a considerable case of driver fatigue that led to the accident as a major factor, then a proper investigation can be set up with a considerate lawyer. However, there must be proof of the driver complying with the relevant hours of truck service set by the federal. A legal attorney, like a Semi Truck Wreck Lawyer in Houston, TX, can help in case of a truck wreck or an accident.
The victims are also known to get compensation for their injuries for as long as 35 direct years. This is why commercial truck drivers are always advised to maintain a sharp record of their service, considering their driving hours and the rules they comply with. These records are used for recovery after an accident.