Work Hour Restrictions for Truck Drivers
Individuals who drive heavy trucks and tractor trailer trucks professionally are expected to adhere to certain work hour restrictions. Failure to do so often results in fatigued driving and can lead to tragic accidents. In order to keep truck drivers safe, it is important that truck drivers and their employers carefully abide by these work hour limitations.
If truck drivers exceed their work hour restrictions, they are putting themselves and others on the road in great danger. Fatigued driving can cause drivers to swerve, make misjudgments or fail to act altogether. Truck accidents are known to cause large amounts of damage and serious injury, and our team of Buffalo, New York truck accident injury lawyers is here to help victims of truck accidents hold the responsible parties accountable.
If you were involved in a truck accident, our team of experienced accident injury lawyers in Buffalo, New York will investigate your claim to uncover whether a truck driver ignored his or her work hour restrictions. Contact the Dietrich Law Firm P.C., recognized as a Best Law Firm of America, today for your free consultation at 716-839-3939. Our team aims to help make the roads of New York State safer by holding negligent truck drivers and trucking companies accountable for the damage that they cause.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), hours of service regulations have been instated on the drivers of heavy, large trucks to ensure the safety of all those on the road. Many accidents with tractor trailers result from driver fatigue, and these restrictions are designed to prevent fatigue from occurring.
According to the FMCSA's Interstate Truck Driver's Guide to Hours of Service, any commercial motor vehicle or truck driver must adhere to these work hour restrictions if:
- The load, including both truck and cargo, they are transporting weighs more than 10,001 pounds;
- They are driving a truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds; or
- They are transporting hazardous goods in large quantity.
Regulations do not apply if the truck is being used for personal use.
If you were injured by a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, big rig or tractor trailer in Buffalo, New York; Rochester, New York; Niagara Falls, New York or throughout New York State, it is likely that the driver of the truck is subject to work hour restrictions. Our team of Buffalo, New York truck accident lawyers will gather evidence, including the information contained in the driver’s Electronic Logging Device, to determine if the driver’s failure to adhere to their work hour restrictions contributed to your accident. Contact us today at 716-839-3939.
The FMCSA breaks down the regulations as follows:
- A truck driver has a 14-hour window to complete their driving.
- The truck driver MAY NOT drive for all 14 hours.
- After the 14-hour window is up, a truck driver must take a rest of 10 consecutive hours.
11-Hour Driving Limit:
- Within the 14-hour window, a truck driver may drive NO MORE than 11 hours.
- After those 11 hours of driving are completed, a truck driver must take a rest of 10 consecutive hours.
- A driver should take a 30-minute rest break every 8 hours.
- If more than 8 hours passed since a 30-minute rest break, or a 10-hour rest, the driver must take another 30-minute rest break.
60/70-Hour Duty Period:
- A truck driver may not drive more than 60 hours in any 7-day window of time.
- A truck driver may not drive more than 70 hours in any 8-day window of time.
- The amount of days and hours will be determined by the employer.
- The hours are not in a set week of Sunday-Saturday or Sunday-Sunday, but rather based on when truck drivers begin and end their shifts.
- The 7-or-8-day window may be restarted by taking a rest break of 34 hours or more.
Please see the FMCSA's Interstate Truck Driver's Guide to Hours of Service for more information and detailed explanations and examples regarding truck driver work hours.
It is important that truck drivers follow these regulations to preserve the safety of themselves and all others on the road. Failure to comply with these restrictions could result in revocation of driving privileges, fines, reduction in the trucking company’s safety ratings and legal liability.
Drivers must track their driving time using an electronic logging device (ELD). The FMCSA’s electronic logging device rule went into effect in 2015. Trucks are equipped with an ELD which synchs with the truck’s engine to automatically record driving time. The ELD aims to easily and accurately track hours of service.
If you, or a loved one, were injured as a result of a fatigued truck driver, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his experienced team of truck accident injury lawyers in Buffalo, New York will fight to attempt to get you the best possible result for your injury accident. Call Jed Dietrich, Esq., recognized as a Best Lawyer of America and New York Super Lawyer, now at 716-839-3939.
Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at 716-839-3939 so that our aggressive, tenacious and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Buffalo, New York. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!