Hours of Service Violations and Truck Accidents
Truck drivers face long hours and grueling work conditions. Often, they must drive for very long stretches in order to make the tight deadlines imposed by trucking companies. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always result in the safest conditions for others sharing the road. Truck driver fatigue is one of the most common causes of truck accidents.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has developed a series of hours of service regulations in order to reduce the risk of truck driver fatigue and keep our roads safer. All truck drivers must follow these regulations. If they don’t, they may be held liable for all injuries caused in a resulting truck accident.
The best way to learn about your rights and options after being injured in a truck accident is to speak with Michael Grife in person. Please call (561) 998-0770 today to schedule your free truck accident consultation at our Boca Raton office. If you are unable to travel due to your injuries, Mr. Grife can come to you.FMCSA Hours of Service Regulations
By law, all truck drivers engaging in interstate commerce must follow these hours of service laws:
- 14 hours on duty – Truck drivers cannot exceed 14 hours during any shift, and they must take 10 hours off before resuming work.
- 11 hours behind the wheel – The maximum number of hours a truck driver can spend behind the wheel during this 14 hour shift is 11 hours.
- 60 hour/7 day rule – Drivers cannot exceed 60 hours on duty during a 7-day time period if the trucking company doesn’t operate their vehicles 7 days a week.
- 70 hour/8 day rule – Truck drivers cannot work more than 70 hours during an 8-day time period if the trucking company operates their vehicles 7 days a week.
- 34 hours off – Before starting a new work week, truck drivers must spend at least 34 hours off-duty. This applies to drivers governed by the 60 hour/7 day rule and the 70 hour/8 day rule.
According to the FMCSA, time “on duty” is defined by any time a truck driver is either working or ready to work. This may include:
- Driving time
- Time inspecting the vehicle
- Time spent loading/unloading the vehicle
- Time spent at the truck depot waiting to be dispatched
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, Michael Grife will review the truck driver’s log book for any evidence of hours of service violations. Sometimes these violations are easily spotted. However, other times there may only be indirect evidence of an hours of service violation. To uncover these violations, Mr. Grife will compare the driver’s log records to the following documents in order to identify discrepancies:
- Fuel receipts
- Toll tickets
- Times on bills of lading and other load identification documents
- Point-to-point mileage distance
- Scale tickets
If Mr. Grife determines that the driver committed an hours of service violation, it will greatly bolster your case.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, please contact the Grife Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation. Mr. Grife serves clients in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Deerfield Beach, and throughout Florida.