All drivers have to abide by certain rules. These rules help ensure that the highest level of safety is maintained. Even truck drivers have specific time limits on how many hours they can drive.
Hours of Service Time Limits
Currently, truck drivers can drive 60 to 70 hours within a seven- to eight-day time period. They cannot drive over 11 hours at a time. After 11 consecutive hours of driving, they must take 34 hours off to reset or start their driving time period over again.
Some want to change the HOS to where truck drivers could only drive 10 hours a day and have two nights of sleep before their time could reset. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) prefers this rulemaking.
The Trucking Industry is Against Changes
The trucking industry is against this proposed rule. They feel that even while safety is the main concern for all involved, that the rule, if changed to ten hours behind the wheel, will cause the trucking industry to be less efficient and cost more money to operate. This change would take more time for truck drivers to finish their routes.
Statistical data from Trucks Involved in Fatal Accidents report that examined truck accidents and hours of service was released by the FMCSA and the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute at Ann Arbor. The HOS rules changed in 2004 to allow 11 hours of driving. Statistical data from 2002 to 2008 suggest that the fatal accident rates between the 10th and 11th hour of driving are similar.
Safety is Main Concern
Safety is the main concern to everyone. With the current rules, many feel that truck drivers have a higher fatigue level. They feel that the 34 HOS reset time does not give the truck drivers enough time off, leading to fatigue-related accidents.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact an experienced attorney in your area to understand the options that may be available to you.