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What’s the importance of Hours of Service regulations in trucking?

On Behalf of | Aug 27, 2021 | Truck Accidents |

Truckers are usually paid by the number of miles they travel per haul. While some might be paid using other methods, the fact remains that truckers are often expected to drive long hours to get the goods they’re hauling to their destinations. 

Even though truckers are professional drivers, they’re still humans who can suffer from fatigue. Because of this, the federal government and California have both set limits to how many hours truckers can drive. Compliance is checked by reviewing the trucker’s logbooks, which are now stored electronically. 

California law on the issue

California law limits truckers to 12 hours per driving shift. Once they hit that limit, they must take 10 hours of rest time. Truckers who do other duties can’t drive after they’ve worked a total of 16 hours, but the 12-hour driving limit still applies. They can’t drive once they’ve been on duty for 80 hours in an 8-day rolling period. Taking at least 34 hours off consecutively restarts that 8-day period. 

Federal law on the issue

Truckers are limited to 11 hours of driving per shift, according to federal regulations. If they do other duties, such as loading and unloading, they can’t drive after the 14th hour on duty. The 11 hours of driving limit still applies. They must have at least 10 hours off duty between shifts. They must not drive more than 60 hours in a seven-day rolling period or 70 hours in a rolling eight-day period. The consecutive rolling days reset when the trucker has at least 34 consecutive hours off work.

Anyone who’s struck by a semitruck is likely going to need medical care for the injuries they suffered. It’s imperative that you consider your right to seek compensation if the trucker or another party was negligent in a way that caused the crash by violating the regulations they were supposed to observe.

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