Understanding FMCSA Hours of Service Regulations from our Albuquerque Trucking Accident Lawyer
Driving a commercial vehicle like an 18 wheeler, semi tractor trailer, box truck, or other large big rig is exhausting. It takes a lot more effort than a smaller, passenger vehicle. It also requires a lot more attention and focus. This creates fatigue much quicker for truck drivers than for motorists operating smaller vehicles. But if truck drivers stop to take a rest, this means less money for the truck driver and for the trucking company. This is because the trucking industry is a time-is-money business, meaning that the faster the truck driver can make a delivery, the faster that they get paid. There are incentives to continue to drive a truck as long as possible to earn as much money as possible. But this incentive is dangerous and can lead to New Mexico trucking accidents.
This is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted certain rules to regulate how long a truck driver can operate a commercial vehicle. This is important because it keeps the rest of us safe from serious injury in a trucking accident caused by a fatigued truck drivers. These rules and regulations are known as hours of services (HOS) regulations. These regulations are in the FMCSA regulations which are a very complicated matrix of rules. If you have been seriously injured or if you lost a loved one in a catastrophic 18 wheeler wreck, call our Albuquerque trucking accident lawyer to schedule a FREE consultation by dialing (505) 883-5000.
What are the FMCSA Hours of Service Regulations?
The FMCSA regulations are important because they set minimum standards applicable throughout the United States, no matter what state the truck is from, in, or going to. These regulations apply in addition to the state law, which usually defers to the federal regulations.
The hours of service regulations are governed by Part 395 of the FMCSA regulations. The regulations split up time as “on shift” and “off shift.” These are just what they mean in that a truck driver is either considered to be on shift meaning he or she could operate a commercial vehicle, or off shift meaning that he or she could not operate a commercial vehicle. The regulations further govern the entire week of time that a truck driver has. The idea behind this is that fatigue will continue to build during the time that a truck driver is still operating.
The most important components of these HOS regulations in a New Mexico trucking accident include the following:
- Maximum Time On Shift: 14 hours
- Minimum Time Off Shift: 10 hours
- Maximum Drive Time on a Shift: 10 hours of the 14 hour shift
- Maximum Drive Time Without a 30 Minute or More Break: 8 hours of the 10 hours of driving
- Maximum Drive Time is 60 Hours in 7 Consecutive Days
- Maximum Drive Time is 70 Hours in 8 Consecutive Days
Injured in a New Mexico Trucking Accident? Our Albuquerque Trucking Accident Lawyer Will Check the Hours of Service Regulations For You
Determining whether there has been an hours of service violation is tricky. Sometimes it is not obvious that this may have been the cause of the crash. This may also be because many truck drivers and trucking companies will attempt to hide or manipulate the trucking logbook in an effort to make it appear that they are in compliance with the FMCSA regulations. This may fool some car accident lawyers or other non-lawyers, but it does not fool the experienced Albuquerque trucking accident lawyers at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or if a loved one has been wrongfully killed, please call the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. for a FREE case evaluation. 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.