Fatigued drivers are one of the leading causes of trucking accidents everywhere n the country. Drivers that have been behind the wheel too long or have not had enough rest between shifts are a danger to themselves and others.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has instituted regulations on how many hours a person operating a commercial vehicle can drive each day.
These regulations are strictly enforced to protect the driver and others on the road. To ensure that the drives comply with these laws, all commercial drivers must log their time on duty each day.
Who Is Required To Follow Hours of Service Regulations?
Under the FMCSA regulations, the following commercial drivers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and follow all FMCSA regulations for hours in service:
- Anyone operating a vehicle that weighs 10,000 pounds or more – loaded or unloaded
- Anyone operating a vehicle that is transporting hazardous materials
- Any vehicle used to transport nine or more people that are paying for transportation
- Any vehicle used to transport 16 or more people that are not paying for transportation
Hours of service are defined as all hours spent completing the job. This includes preparation time, time sent waiting for dispatch, time spent on checking the vehicle and securing the load, as well as any other non-driving task that is part of the drivers’ duties.
Hours of Duty for Truck Drivers Moving Cargo
Under the federal guidelines CDL drivers moving cargo must adhere to the following Hours of Service:
- No more than 14 consecutive hours of work-related duties at any given time without ten consecutive hours of rest
- Actual driving tie may not exceed 11 consecutive hours
- All drivers must take at least a 30-minute rest period after eight hours of consecutive driving
Hours of Duty for Truck Drivers Carrying Passengers
Hours of duty for vehicles moving passengers, either paying customers or non-paying passengers must adhere to the following hours of service guidelines:
- Driver cannot exceed 15 hours of consecutive service without at least a consecutive eight-hour beak
- Drivers cannot drive for more than 10 hours consecutively without stopping for a consecutive eight-hour rest period
Truck Drivers Logbook
Under the guidelines of the FMCSA, all drivers of a commercial vehicle must log the hours that they are at work and at rest. The law requires that this logbook contain information about the cargo, stop made during the day, and miles driven each day. The logbook must reflect breaks and the time spent sleeping in the truck. All log pages must contain the signature of the driver to show who prepared the page.
Many trucking companies are now using electronic devices that track miles driven, speed, and times that the truck is not moving. This is beneficial for the company’s bookkeeping. However, these records do not absolve the driver from keeping their logbook. All drivers must maintain a logbook written in their own hands by law.
Speak With A Trucking Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents are complicated events that often cause life-changing injuries. Proving fault and responsibility for these accidents is essential because there are often several insurance companies covering the event.
One of the resources that your attorney will use is the logbook maintained by the driver.
Verifying their hours in service is the only way to show if the driver was fatigued from driving too many hours that day.
Personal logs can also help verify the speed and other important factors to the case.
Further reading: Philadelphia truck accident attorney