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Federal Trucking Regulations Part 2: Hours of Operation

Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers have a long history of working more hours than is safe or healthy. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) regulations cover hours of operation (also known as Hours of Service). These were updated to help reduce the incidences of CMV driver fatigue on the nation’s roads.

Before these regulations were set in place, drivers were encouraged by their employers to work as long as possible to meet deadlines and save money. However, the human body isn’t capable of functioning well when it is fatigued. Studies have compared tired driving to drunk driving and found there was little to no difference between the two. Going 24 hours without sleep is akin to having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.10%.

Truck drivers used to drive such long hours they depended on stimulants and other controlled substances to keep awake. These did little to improve their performance on the road, making them incredibly dangerous to be around.

Hours of Service (HOS) were created to prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue by limited the number of driving hours per day. They keep drivers on a 210 to 24-hour schedule, helping the drivers to maintain a natural sleep/wake cycle

HOS enforcement is also handled by Department of Transportation (DOT) officers in each state and are sometimes checked when CMVs pass through weigh stations. If a driver is found in violation of HOS, they can be forced to stop driving for a specified period, which can negatively affect the motor carrier’s safety rating.

If a driver violating HOS harmed you or a loved one, you might be entitled to compensation. Talk to one of our skilled Wichita truck accident attorneys about your case as soon as possible. Hutton & Hutton Law Firm, LLC is dedicated to helping the victims of negligence seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Let us see what we can do for you.

Contact us at (316) 688-1166 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.

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