close up of a young man driving a large truck

Understanding Hours of Service Regulations for Truckers

Hours of Service for Property and Passenger-Carrying Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) revised the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations to introduce more flexible options for truck drivers beginning in mid-2020. Some of the measures taken were regarding break times, the introduction of the sleeper berth, and exceptions for short-haul truckers.

Understanding these HOS regulations is crucial for driver safety. Read on to learn how this may differ between property and passenger-carrying drivers.

What are the Required Hours of Service?

The HOS regulations vary depending on whether the commercial vehicle is property or passenger-carrying. While most of the regulations are similar, property-carrying drivers have more mandatory breaks, which can differ depending on the circumstances.

Property-carrying drivers adhere to these regulations:

  • After 10 consecutive hours off duty, they may drive up to 11 hours.
  • Drivers cannot drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on-duty, following 10 hours off-duty.
  • Drivers must take a 30-minute break after 8 consecutive hours of driving.
  • Drivers may not exceed 60 hours in 7 consecutive days or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days. However, this period may restart after 34 hours off-duty.
  • The 10-hour off-duty period may be split between time spent in the sleeper berth. You can learn more about this provision here.
  • HOS may be extended by two hours when adverse driving conditions are present.

Passenger-carrying drivers must adhere to these regulations:

  • After 8 consecutive hours off duty, they may drive up to 10 hours.
  • Drivers cannot drive beyond the 15th consecutive hour after coming on-duty, following 8 hours off-duty.
  • Drivers may not exceed 60 hours in 7 consecutive days or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days.
  • Drivers must spend at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth and may split this into two periods.
  • HOS may be extended by two hours when adverse driving conditions are present.

How Are These Monitored?

Per FMCSA regulations, commercial drivers must use an Electronic Logging Device to record their hours of service. This rule was implemented in late 2015 to ensure drivers are getting the rest necessary to properly perform their job. Under these guidelines, drivers must track their HOS and maintain the record for a minimum of six months.

These ELD records can be instrumental if you've been involved in a collision with a large truck, as they may indicate that either the individual driver or the trucking company was negligent in abiding by or enforcing these regulations. When working with an experienced truck accident attorney, they may be able to obtain a copy of the individual driver's record to be used in your case.

Jamie Casino Injury Attorneys is Here to Help

Our attorneys in Savannah and Augusta are here to help hold negligent truck drivers and trucking companies accountable for endangering the roadways. If a fatigued driver was responsible for your crash, you deserve justice.

Schedule a free consultation with a member of our dream team by calling (912) 809-5335 or filling out this short form.

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