Hours of Service Overview Rules for Truck Drivers

The hours-of-service (HOS) rules are federally mandated and drivers must be in compliance, as demonstrated through a trucker’s log book. If not, the trucker could be in violation and it may help prove negligence in a truck driver accident. If you or someone you love was seriously injured as a result of a crash with a big rig, consult a Peachtree City personal injury attorney

What are the hours-of-service rules that apply to truckers? 

HOS rules are enforced in order to keep truckers alert and improve safety on the road. Driving long hours behind the wheel can cause fatigue, increasing the chance of an accident. 

The following HOS rules apply to truckers who carry property on their big rigs:

  • 11-Hour Driving Limit:  Drivers may drive no more than 11 hours after spending 10 straight hours off duty.
  • 14-Hour Limit: Driver can’t drive past the 14th straight hour after coming on duty after spending 10 straight hours off duty.
  • 60/70-Hour On-Duty Limit: Driver cannot drive after 60 to 70 hours on duty over a period of seven to eight consecutive days. He or she may restart the seven to eight consecutive day period after spending 34 or more straight hours off duty.
  • Sleeper Berth: The driver must spend a minimum of eight straight hours in the sleeper berth. He or she must also spend a separate two straight hours in sleeper berth or off duty, or some combination of both. 

Falling asleep behind the wheel could lead to a fatal accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2010 there were 152 fatalities in Georgia in accidents involving a large truck, although the cause of the accident was not indicated. Nevertheless, fatigue may play a role in truck accidents, which may constitute negligence. 

Seeking Help from a Peachtree City Personal Injury Lawyer 

Contact the Shane Smith Law at (980) 246-2656 (Peachtree City) or 888-927-6955. You may also download a copy of our FREE guide, which shares costly mistakes you can avoid. An attorney can go over truck driver accidents and how violations of hours-of-service requirements may be applicable to your case.