Posted on:May 27, 2020

Understanding The FMCSA’s Hours of Service Regulations

HomeBlogUnderstanding The FMCSA’s Hours of Service Regulations

FMCSA stands for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and is responsible for establishing regulations for motor carriers and those who drive them. As of recently, the FMCSA has revised the hours of service regulations to allow greater driver flexibility, without negatively impacting safety. Here we have gone into further detail about what rules have changed, so that those who want to understand the FMCSA’s hours of service regulations more in-depth are given that opportunity. 

Updated FMCSA Regulations

So what is changing about the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations about motor carriers and drivers? Also, you may be wondering, why is this important information to know? Well, as someone who probably drives on the road or rides in a vehicle with another person, it can help to have a broader understanding of the rules of the road. In particular, the FMCSA rules are set forth as a way to increase safety and redue the chances of a trucker getting fatigued behind the wheel. And as you can imagine, collisions that involve large trucks carrying materials or goods can result in tragic disaster.

The regulations that have been updated recently are reflected below:

  • 30-Minute Break Requirement: A truck driver must have a 30-minutes break after operating the vehicle for 8 hours, in addition to allowing on-duty/not driving periods to qualify as this break. 
  • Sleeper Berth Provision: This is a modification to the sleeper berth exception, allowing the truck driver to meet the minimum of 10-hour off-duty rule by taking at minimum 7 (instead of 8 hours), in the berth. And being off-duty for no less than 2 hours outside or inside the berth, as long as these two periods total 10+ hours (and that neither duration counts against the driving window of 14 hours). 
  • Short-Haul Exception: This regulation extends the short-haul exception to allow a 14-hour shift and 150 air-miles. Furthermore, the 14-hour shift can take place as a component of the exception. 
  • Adverse Driving Conditions Exception: This regulation expands the window of driving during adverse conditions by up to an extra 2 hours. 

The FMCSA and Truck Driving Accidents

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established rules so that truck drivers are kept healthy and alert, and that those who are sharing the road with these hefty vehicles are at a reduced chance of getting into a serious accident. Unfortunately, despite best efforts, accidents between standard passenger vehicles and commercial trucks still happen. Due to the complex nature of these accidents, victims often seek help from a lawyer to handle their case. A lawyer can investigate further into the accident to see if the truck driver was abiding by FMCSA regulations, or had committed a violation which led to the event unfolding. A truck driver that lacks sleep, meals, or proper rest breaks may put others’ safety at-risk by driving. 

Hopefully, this information provided some more understanding of the FMCSA’s hours of service regulations for carriers and truck drivers. If you are interested in hearing more or need help with a recent truck accident, then you may want to call an experienced truck accident attorney Phoenix, AZ trusts for assistance. Contact the Saavedra Law Firm today.

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