Albuquerque Trucking Accidents Caused by Hours of Service Violations: Three Common Violations to Know
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted regulations which apply to all commercial drivers operating commercial vehicles in the United States. These regulations apply to all commercial trucks such as big rigs, 18 wheelers, box trucks, tankers, semi tractor trailers, double trailers, and other trucks. It does not matter what state the driver is in or where the trucking company is originally from, the FMCSA regulations must be complied with, in addition to the state’s laws. These regulations are not just administrative in purpose, but they have safety at the forefront.
One of the largest safety provisions is the hours of service regulations included in Part 395. This set of regulations is aimed to prevent fatigued drivers from operating large commercial trucks on our roadways. This is because fatigued drivers could fall asleep at the wheel and become very dangerous drivers. Large commercial box trucks could become unguided missiles barreling on our highways and roadways if a driver falls asleep. This can result in serious Albuquerque trucking accidents causing the wrongful death of innocent people.
The three most common hours of service violations which are likely to result in serious personal injury or wrongful death in a 18 wheeler wreck include the following:
- 14 Hour Rule Violations – Truck drivers have a 14 hour “on duty” window to operate a commercial vehicle. This 14 hours is consecutive, and runs from the start of service until the end of the 14 hours-whether or not the truck driver stops working or finishes his or her assignment. No driver may operate above the 14 hours. It is a violation to work for 7 hours and then go “off duty,” but then in 3 more hours go back “on duty” to work another 7 hours. This would be 17 hours which is a violation. The idea is to prevent fatigued drivers and this is one important rule to comply with.
- 11 Hour Rule Violations – During the 14 hours window from the start to stop of duty, a truck driver is only allowed to drive a commercial vehicle like a box truck for 11 hours. This means from the start of service to the end of 14 hours, only 11 hours may be driving. This naturally includes a 3 hour break which can be taken in parts or in total. These breaks are important because they can help a truck driver regain some focus, strength, and concentration. But some truck drivers will minimize their breaks in an effort to work longer hours during their 14 hours window. This is dangerous and can lead to Albuquerque trucking accidents.
- 8 Hour Rule Violations – During the 11 hours that a truck driver is permitted to drive in a 14 hour window, the truck driver may only operate for 8 consecutive hours because a 30 minute break is required. This rule clearly focuses on fatigue and strain caused by continuous operation of a semi tractor trailer. Truck drivers that fail to break and drive for more than 8 hours not only violate the FMCSA regulations, but also risk causing us serious personal injuries on or around the roadway.
Victims in an Albuquerque Trucking Accident May Have Been Injured or Wrongfully Killed Due to an Hour of Service Violation
Hours of service violations are generally despised in the trucking world because they make it harder to earn money by putting safety at the forefront. Here at the NM Truck Accident Attorneys, we know how to use violations of FMCSA regulations, particularly hours of service violations, to the advantage of our clients. Call our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident attorneys at the NM Truck Accident Attorneys today by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn what rights you may have. You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.