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Hours of service regulations apply to truck drivers

Readers of this Massachusetts personal injury blog may have experienced the following scenario. After fueling up and packing their car for a road trip, they begin their drive with excitement and a sense of adventure. However, after hours behind the wheel and the night quickly approaching, they begin to feel the fatigue of someone who has been operating a car for too long.

Driving while tired is arguably a form of distracted driving and a threat to all people on the roads. While individuals may find it easy to stop once fatigue sets in, content to begin their travels after some rest, commercial drivers often have delivery deadlines to meet that may push them to operate beyond when it is safe. For this reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has implemented regulations on how long commercial drivers may operate each day.

For example, a commercial driver whose rig carries freight may only drive for 11 hours after a 10 hour rest period. They may not drive beyond 60 hours in a 7 day period or 70 hours in an 8 day period. They must take regular breaks to rest and sleep, some of which must be outside of their cabs. Drivers generally must log their driving and breaks so that documentation exists of their compliance with hours of service regulations.

Drivers of buses and other passenger vehicles may also be subject to hours of service rules, but those rules may differ from those applicable to freight haulers. To learn more about fatigued driving, truck accidents and claims that may arise from accidents caused by hours of service regulations, readers are encouraged to contact their local truck accident attorneys.

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