Hours of service, or HOS, are the federally regulated number of hours that truck drivers can be on the road.
These regulations are designed to allow trucking companies to operate efficiently, while protecting truckers from the hazards of overworking and keeping those they share the road with safe.
In fact, the true purpose of federally regulated HOS is to prevent the number of accidents caused by fatigued truck drivers.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), most drivers must follow the HOS regulations if they drive a vehicle used for interstate commerce that fits any one of the following descriptions:
- Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
- Carries 16 or more passengers not for compensation
- Transports 9 or more passengers for compensation
- Delivers hazmat materials
If you have been injured in a trucking accident due to your employer’s disregard of HOS regulations, it is important to contact an experienced Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyer to guide you through the process of Workers’ Compensation or determine if there are other avenues of compensation.
FMCSA Hours of Service Revisions
The FMCSA is looking into making a change to four areas of the current HOS regulations, which may mean increased hours on the road for truck drivers. Those areas are:
- Expand the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours
- Extend the current 14-hour on-duty limitation to up to 16 when a truck driver encounters adverse weather or traffic conditions
- Revise the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8-hours of continuous driving
- Reinstate the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers with trucks equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.
Although these changes may help drivers and their trucking companies meet deadlines and increase overall productivity, the adverse effects cannot be overlooked.
According to past studies conducted by the FMCSA, driver fatigue is an important factor in crashes involving large trucks. As a result, new HOS regulations were adopted in 2013, which further limited the number of hours that commercial truck drivers could be on the road.
It is no secret that drowsy driving has similar consequences to driving while intoxicated. In fact, the National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that fatigued driving results in the following:
- Slower response time
- Poor decision making
- Attention deficits
The newly proposed FMCSA changes to HOS could put truckers on the road an additional three hours per workday.
Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Advocate for Injured Truck Drivers
We are experienced with the federal regulations that apply to your situation and can help to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call our office today at 302-888-1221 or use our convenient online form to contact us for a free case evaluation.
We represent clients throughout Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, Chester County and Delaware County.