New Hours of Service RulesJune 11, 2019
Hours of Service (HOS) rules were put into place to prevent devastating truck accidents caused by driver fatigue. The rules dictate the number of hours per day and per week that a truck driver can be behind the wheel. The rules also state that drivers must spend a certain amount of time resting between shifts. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced recently that new federal hours of service regulations will be announced in early June.
The proposed regulations are currently being reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which must approve the new rule before sending it to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for publication. The FMCSA reached out to industry stakeholders last year to obtain feedback about the changes they would like to see made to the federal hours of service regulations. It is not clear what changes will ultimately be made as there has been no official comments from FMCSA officials.
Importance of HOS Rules
The HOS rules are important because they help ensure that truck drivers stay awake and alert when they are behind the wheel. All commercial truck drivers must follow the HOS rules and regulations. The current HOS rules include the following regulations for drivers who are carrying property:
- 14-hour driving window limit: Commercial truck drivers may not drive for more than 14 hours after coming on-duty. After the 14th hour on-duty, the truck driver must take 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
- 11-hour driving limit: The rules state that truck drivers may only drive for a total of 11 consecutive hours during a 14-hour period. Once the truck driver has reached the 11-hour limit, they must rest for 10 consecutive hours before they can get back on the road.
- 60/70-hour limit: Truck drivers may not drive after being on duty for 60/70 hours in 7/8 consecutive days. They must take 34 consecutive hours off-duty before starting another 7/8 consecutive day shift.
An Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released by the FMCSA sought public input on these rules regarding any revisions that they want made. Possible revisions included extending the 14-hour on-duty limitation, revising the 30-minute mandatory lunch break, and splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for truck drivers whose vehicle has a sleeper berth.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect the Rights of Truck Accident Victims
If you or someone you know was seriously injured in a truck accident, it is in your best interest to contact the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will conduct a thorough investigation into your accident and determine whether the truck driver had violated the Hours of Service rules. Our skilled legal team will protect your rights and guide you through every step of the claims process and secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent truck accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.