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Truck Driver Driving Hours

Commercial Motor Vehicle Hours Of Service Regulations

/ Personal Injury

As we have discussed in prior blog articles, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) regulate the operation of commercial vehicles in interstate commerce (commerce involving more than one state). One of the ways the FMCSRs regulate the trucking industry is by limiting the amount of hours a CMV driver can be on duty. These rules are more commonly known as the “hours of service regulations.”

There are different hours of service regulations for property-carrying drivers vs. passenger-carrying drivers.

Property-Carrying Drivers

• 11-Hour Driving Limit

• May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.

• 14-Hour Hour Limit

• May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.

• 30-Minute Driving Break

• Drivers must take a 30-minute break when they have driven for a period of 8 cumulative hours without at least a 30-minute interruption. The break may be satisfied by any non-driving period of 30 consecutive minutes (i.e., on-duty not driving, off-duty, sleeper berth, or any combination of these taken consecutively).

• 60/70-Hour Limit

• May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.

• Sleeper Berth Provision

• Drivers may split their required 10-hour off-duty period, as long as one off-duty period (whether in or out of the sleeper berth) is at least 2 hours long and the other involves at least 7 consecutive hours spent in the sleeper berth. All sleeper berth pairings MUST add up to at least 10 hours. When used together, neither time period counts against the maximum 14- hour driving window.

• Adverse Driving Conditions

• Drivers are allowed to extend the 11-hour maximum driving limit and 14-hour driving window by up to 2 hours when adverse driving conditions are encountered.

• Short-Haul Exception

Short-Haul drivers are exempt from the requirements of §395.8 and §395.11.

Passenger-Carrying Drivers

• 10-Hour Driving Limit

• May drive a maximum of 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty.

• 15-Hour Limit

• May not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following 8 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.

• 60/70-Hour Limit

•May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.

• Sleeper Berth Provision

• Drivers using a sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours. All sleeper berth pairings MUST add up to at least 10 hours.

• Adverse Driving Conditions

• Drivers are allowed to extend the 10-hour maximum driving time and 15-hour on-duty limit by up to 2 hours when adverse driving conditions are encountered.

• Short-Haul Exception

Short-Haul drivers are exempt from the requirements of §395.8 and §395.11.

Even if the CMV driver is within the hours of service regulations, driver fatigue may still be an issue in the case. While driver fatigue may be harder to prove in those instances, it is still important for your attorney to investigate this issue during the discovery phase of your case. This investigation can include taking the CMV driver’s deposition and combing through driver’s logs, time stamps, receipts, etc.

Conclusion

If you or a loved one has been catastrophically injured or killed in a collision involving a commercial motor vehicle, it is important that you hire an attorney who is knowledgeable in trucking law and regulations. Our personal injury team at SW&L Attorneys understands, knows, and handles all trucking and commercial motor vehicle accidents. To get in touch with our team, call 701-297-2890 or email info@swlattorneys.com

The information contained in this article and on this website is for informational purposes only.

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