Truck accidents can be much more devastating than car accidents due to the excess weight and size of trucks. To prevent such accidents, truck drivers have some laws and regulations that they need to abide by while driving. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has a branch named the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates all commercial vehicles. The Hours of Service (HOS) is one such regulation that truck drivers need to follow, which governs how long they can drive and when they need a break. To learn more, talk to an Atlanta truck accident lawyer today.
What is DOT Hours of Service?
The DOT Hours of Service regulates how long a truck driver can drive and when they take mandatory breaks. The DOT Hours of Service rules are also sometimes called FMCSA Hours of Service rules. Although some exceptions exist, these rules mandate that truck drivers use an electronic logging device (ELD) to log their driving hours and dirty status.
These rules serve a very important purpose, even though they may seem complicated. Driver fatigue is very dangerous and can often lead to traffic accidents. The Hours of Service rules help drivers remain awake and alert to be safe on the road by mandating breaks.
Who do the HOS rules apply?
Anyone operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in the United States has to abide by the DOT truck drivers’ rules, including the Hours of Service rules. International carriers must also follow these rules when driving in the United States.
A commercial motor vehicle is one that:
- Weighs more than 10,000 pounds with or without load.
- It is designed to carry 16 or more people, including the driver.
- Transports hazardous materials which require a placard.
- It is used or designed to carry more than nine people, including the driver, for pay.
It is essential to keep in mind that your vehicle only needs to match one of these criteria to classify for the Hours of Service rules. Even if you do not consider your vehicle to be a commercial vehicle or are not carrying a load, you must still follow the Hours of Service rules if your vehicle meets any of the above criteria.
Have you been involved in a truck accident?
Do not waste time if you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident. Get in touch with an experienced truck accident lawyer and get the professional legal help you deserve.