Shreveport Truck Driver Hours of Service Rules
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for regulating the trucking industry in the United States. This job involves writing and enforcing rules to make trucking safer. FMCSA regulations cover every aspect of over-the-road hauling, including the maximum size and weight of trucks, inspection and maintenance of tires, brakes and other critical components, balancing and securing loads, transporting hazardous materials, and more.
A key area of trucking safety involves regulating how long truck drivers can work and how much rest is required between shifts. The workday and workweek of a truck driver are not at all comparable to what the average American worker experiences on the job. You may be quite surprised to learn how long truckers are allowed to be behind the wheel under existing FMCSA regulations, and you would be even more shocked to learn how often truckers ignore these regulations and drive even longer than the law allows.
Truck driver fatigue is a leading cause of truck accidents across the country. Truck drivers have no excuse for drowsy driving, and trucking companies should not be forgiven for policies that allow or encourage their employees to drive long past the time it is safe to do so. Read on to learn about the FMCSA’s hours of service rules for truck drivers, and contact the dedicated and experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Rice & Kendig in Shreveport-Bossier City if you or a loved one has been hurt in an 18-wheeler accident in North Louisiana.
What Are the FMCSA Hours of Service Regulations for Truck Drivers?
If you are in a job where you work eight hours a day, five days a week, with a lunch break at noon and perhaps a short break in the morning and afternoon, you are in for a surprise regarding a trucker’s typical workday. Under current federal regulations, truck drivers can be on the clock for as much as 14 hours in a 24-period. That’s 14 hours on-duty, with only ten hours off to sleep, eat, etc. Of those 14 hours, drivers can spend 11 hours behind the wheel. That’s 11 hours of driving, plus three hours of securing a load, inspecting the vehicle, fueling, compiling reports, etc., before taking ten hours off. As far as breaks during the day go, the FMCSA rules require only a thirty-minute break after eight hours of driving time.
The length of the trucker’s workweek is far from typical as well. Truck drivers can work for 60 hours over seven days straight, or 70 hours for eight days in a row, before having to take off 34 hours to restart their “week.” That means a trucker’s week can last eight days, with a weekend less than one and a half days long, before starting a new eight-day week all over again.
How Do Drivers Record Their Hours of Service?
Since the start of 2020, truck drivers have been required to log their hours and status (on duty, off duty, sleeper berth, driving) with an Electronic Logging Device (ELD). Some drivers may still be using an older system, the Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD), but this method should mostly be phased out by now unless the carrier has specific approval to use the outdated technology. No drivers should be using paper logs anymore, which can be far too easily “lost” or modified after an accident.
At Rice & Kendig, our Shreveport-Bossier City personal injury lawyers have been investigating, litigating, and settling truck accident cases for more than 40 years. Our attorneys are familiar with all the logging systems used by drivers and the ways they can be misused or checked for accuracy. We investigate every crash to determine whether truck driver fatigue may have played a role and hold the driver and carrier company accountable for negligence and unsafe driving practices.
Experienced Legal Help After a Shreveport-Bossier City 18-Wheeler Truck Accident
Victims of 18-wheeler truck wrecks often experience catastrophic injuries and face years of recovery or a lifetime of consequences. Many do not survive and leave behind grieving families to deal with the emotional pain and financial loss of a family member. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a tractor-trailer crash in Shreveport-Bossier City or surrounding areas, call the attorneys at Rice & Kendig for a free consultation. We take cases throughout North Louisiana and will travel to your location to meet with you as needed. We treat our clients like family and do the best job we can to make sure you are taken care of.