Albuquerque Trucking Accident Lawyer Explains the FMCSA Hours of Service Rules on How Long a Truck Driver Could Drive
The shipping and logistics industry is one of the largest industries in the United States. The largest part of this industry is shipping through large commercial vehicles like 18 wheelers, semi tractor trailers, double trailers, big rigs, and other box trucks. As an Albuquerque trucking accident lawyer, we know that the trucking industry is a business with a philosophy of time is money. The faster the delivery, the faster the paychecks. Interstates I-10, I-25, and I-40 play a huge role in interstate commerce and saving time because 18 wheelers traveling from California to the east coast will usually have to travel through New Mexico, especially because Ontario is a huge trucking port. This is particularly true in Albuquerque, where truck drivers can switch from west to east to north and south at the interstate exchange.
Unfortunately, for residents of New Mexico this means greater risk of danger in a big rig wreck. Many of these accidents are caused by truck drivers who are fatigued, tired, and just pushing themselves to meet their delivery deadline. But sometimes this means cutting corners and this means that innocent people could get hurt. Here at the NM Truck Accident Attorneys, we represent people who are seriously injured or wrongfully killed in a New Mexico trucking accident. Our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident lawyers know how to establish liability and prove your damages. Call for a FREE consultation by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn how we can help you today.
What Laws or Rules Apply to Truck Drivers?
Since the trucking industry is a multi-state business, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has created regulations which apply to the drivers of commercial vehicles in all states. One of the most focused areas of the FMCSA regulations are the "hours or service" regulations. This is under Part 395 which provides many scheduling, bookkeeping, regulatory, and rather common sense requirements for both trucking companies and truck drivers.
No matter what state the truck driver is in, where the truck driver is from, where the trucking company is located, or any other detail, the FMCSA hours of service regulations will govern how long a truck driver can operate a commercial vehicle like a big rig.
How Long Can a Truck Driver Drive an 18 Wheeler?
Pursuant to the hours of service regulations by the FMCSA, a truck driver may only operate a large commercial vehicle for the following:
- Have a maximum of a 14 hour shift working;
- Drive a maximum of 10 hours of that 14 hour shift;
- Drive a maximum of 8 hours in a row because taking a 30 minute break;
- Have a minimum of 10 hours "off shift" after a 14 hour shift;
- Operate a maximum of 60 hours in any 7 consecutive days;
- Operate a maximum of 70 ours in 8 consecutive days; and
- Special rules for less-common circumstances.
What Happens if a Truck Driver Causes a New Mexico Big Rig Crash Over the Hours of Service?
If you or a loved one have been injured in a New Mexico trucking accident due to a truck driver who has worked more than his or her hours of service, the reason for the crash could be because of driver fatigue. This is the main purpose and goal of the FMCSA regulations. But this is not always obvious after an 18 wheeler wreck, especially if you have been seriously injured.
But we can help investigate and determine whether there is liability. Please call the NM Truck Accident Attorneys by dialing (505) 883-5000 to schedule a FREE consultation with one of our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident lawyers. We handle cases throughout New Mexico, including in Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Roswell, Farmington, Hobbs, Lordsburg, or anywhere else in the state, including Albuquerque where our law office is located. You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.