As a professional truck driver, it’s important to know and adhere to the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations set forth by the Department of Transportation (DOT). These regulations are in place to ensure the safety of both truck drivers and the motoring public. Violating these rules can increase the risk of an accident. A truck accident can result in huge financial loss for the victim. Speak with a personal injury lawyer to protect your rights and claim compensation for your losses following a truck accident.
The hours-of-service regulations are designed to limit a truck driver’s hours on the road to prevent fatigue. The regulations vary depending on the type of cargo transported and the truck’s size. Let’s look at the DOT HOS regulations and how they apply to truck drivers.
The HOS regulations are designed to limit the hours a truck driver can operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) within a given period. The thinking behind these regulations is that fatigued driving is a leading cause of accidents. Limiting the number of hours a truck driver can be on the road can help reduce the number of accidents caused by fatigue.
There are three main parts to the DOT HOS regulations that truck drivers need to be aware of:
- The 11-hour driving limit:
This allows a property-carrying truck driver to drive a CMV for up to 11 hours within a 14-hour window. This 14-hour window starts when the truck driver comes on duty after 10 consecutive hours off duty. For Passenger driving drivers, the maximum driving limit is around 10 hours.
- The 60/70-hour limit:
This caps the number of hours a truck driver can drive a CMV within a 7- or 8-day period at 60 or 70 hours, respectively. Once a truck driver reaches this limit, he or she must take 34 consecutive hours off before returning to the wheel.
There are some exceptions to these rules, such as for adverse weather conditions or emergencies, but for the most part, these are the DOT HOS regulations that all truck drivers must follow.
- 30-Minute Driving Break
Driving as a truck driver, you must take a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving. This break can be satisfied by any non-driving period of 30 consecutive minutes, such as on-duty not driving, off-duty, or sleeper berth. This is a safety regulation by the DOT to help prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue. So be sure to take your break after 8 hours of driving, and you’ll be back on the road in no time! The DOT HOS regulations are in place to help keep both truck drivers and the motoring public safe. By adhering to these regulations, truck drivers can help reduce the number of accidents caused by fatigue.
Understanding that the regulations are put into place, not just for the drivers but for the public, is crucial for the companies. Adhering to the DOT HOS regulations is crucial for all professional truck drivers. Not only does it help promote safety on our nation’s highways, but it also helps ensure that drivers are rested and alert when they’re behind the wheel. By following these simple rules, we can all do our part to make our roads safer for everyone.