Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers

Hours of Service Rules

The Department of Transportation (DOT) recently announced new federal regulations that will impact the hours of service (HOS) that truckers and bus drivers are permitted to work. While some drivers feel that the changes are much needed and will prioritize driver safety, others feel that the government has no right imposing their rules onto the private industry. The new regulations focus on maintaining driver safety and avoiding driver fatigue, a known problem in the trucking industry.

Drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles, or CMVs, must comply with the latest HOS Regulations. A CMV is one that is involved in interstate commerce and generally fits any of the following descriptions:

  • Weighs over 10,000 pounds
  • Has a gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight rating of over 10,000 pounds
  • Designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers – driver included – for compensation
  • Designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers – driver included – not for compensation
  • Transporting hazardous materials at quantities requiring placards

Truckers and long-distance bus drivers must comply with the new regulations, which will limit the number of consecutive hours they are able to work. The following is a summary of the new guidelines, including how many hours a driver may work and required periods of rest between shifts.

Rules for Drivers Carrying Goods

  • Eleven-Hour Driving Limit: Drivers are not allowed to drive more than 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • Fourteen-Hour Limit: Drivers cannot drive longer than 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty after 10 consecutive hours off.
  • Rest Breaks: Drivers must stop driving if it has exceeded eight hours since their last off-duty break of at least 30 minutes. Some exceptions apply.
  • Sixty/Seventy-Hour Limit: Driving is limited to 60 hours within seven consecutive days or 70 hours within eight consecutive days of on-duty driving.

Rules for Drivers Carrying Passengers

  • Ten-Hour Driving Limit: Permitted to drive no more than 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off.
  • Fifteen-Hour Limit: Cannot drive after spending 15 or more hours on-duty. Drivers can only drive a 15-hour shift after having eight hours consecutively off.
  • Sixty/Seventy-Hour Limit: Same restrictions as listed above.
  • Sleeper Berth Provision: Drivers must spend a minimum of eight hours before beginning another eight-hour shift in the sleeper berth, if applicable. This time can be split into two sessions, given one is at least two hours in length.

Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Victims Injured in Trucking Accidents Get Maximum Compensation

If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, contact our Maryland truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton so that we can determine the best legal course of action based on the details of your case. We will fight hard to protect your rights and secure the optimal financial settlement for your injuries. For a free 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 injured truck accident victims and their families throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.