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Hour regulations aim to reduce truck accidents

Being involved in a trucking accident can lead to horrifying injuries. This is one of the reasons why truck drivers are bound by hours of service regulations. These regulations are meant to reduce driver fatigue so that commercial motor vehicle drivers aren't so tired that they begin to drive carelessly. For Washington, District of Columbia, residents, knowing the basic regulations might prove very helpful if they are ever involved in a trucking accident.

Any commercial vehicle operator who drives a vehicle in interstate commerce that weight 10,001 pounds or more is bound by the HOS regulations. Drivers who carry hazardous cargo that requires placard use, and those who drive certain commercial passenger vehicles are also bound by these regulations.

Truckers who are bound by these regulations mustn't work more than 14 hours per day. Only 11 of those hours can be spent behind the wheel of their rig. During a day's shift, the trucker must take a full 30-minute break within the first eight hours of his or her workday.

Besides the daily regulation, there is also a limit for weekly work. Truckers can only drive a total of 70 hours per week. It is possible for drivers to work more than that, but doing so involves taking a rest period of 34 consecutive hours. This has to include two nights that encompass 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.

When a truck driver causes an accident, checking the log book for that driver is one way to determine if the HOS regulations were followed. This information can be used in a personal injury lawsuit. Working with someone familiar with trucking regulations can help victims of accidents to determine if the HOS regulations were followed.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Hours of Service" Dec. 07, 2014

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