According to the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are a series of rules in place regarding a truck driver’s schedule designed to limit the amount of time a driver can spend on the roads. This is done in an effort to prevent drivers from overexerting themselves while on the road, which could increase the likelihood of an accident.
These hours of service rules are very specific, with different rules and regulations for property-carrying drivers, such as those transporting cargo in 18-wheeler trucks, as well as passenger-carrying drivers, such as bus drivers. For example, a truck driver may not exceed 14 consecutive hours on the road. This must also be followed by 10 hours off duty. After these 10 consecutive hours off duty, the driver may not drive more than 11 more consecutive hours. In addition, during these 7 to 8 consecutive days, drivers may not exceed a total of 60 to 70 hours, respectively.
Bus drivers also have restrictions on the amount of time they are allowed on the roads at any given time. This is important to note not just for local and state transportation buses, but also for touring buses. Failing to adhere to these regulations could jeopardize not only all passengers of the bus, but others sharing the roads as well.
These rules are important to understand, as a violation that leads to a truck accident may make the driver and trucking company liable. This often occurs when the driver is found to have an illegal logbook monitoring the hours on the road. An accident settlement could include compensation to an accident victim for their injuries. This could include money for medical expenses, as well as rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering and lost wages.
Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Summary of Hours of Service Regulations,” Accessed Sept. 4, 2017