The rules and regulations that commercial carriers and their truck drivers must follow are handed down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This branch of federal government dictates certain aspects of commercial carrier operations so that they are safer for truck drivers and other passenger vehicles. Included in their rules and regulations is a rule for hours of service. If the driver operates a commercial motor vehicle, including semi-trucks, they must comply with the FMCSA's hours of service rule.
The FMCSA's rules regarding hours of service regulations are different for drivers carrying property than they are for drivers carrying passengers. These rules dictate how many hours a driver may operate a vehicle and how often and for how long they must take rest breaks. For example, a driver of a vehicle carrying property may drive for 11 hours so long as it follows 10 consecutive hours of the driver being off duty. For the drivers of passenger-carrying vehicles, it is one less hour of maximum driving time after eight consecutive hours off duty.
These rules, as well as others, are designed to help commercial carriers, their drivers and other passenger vehicles stay safe while traveling on the highway. Although these rules are designed for the betterment of commercial travel, many commercial truck drivers do not abide by them. Commercial truck drivers who do not follow hours of service rules and regulations may find themselves the subject of a lawsuit if their negligence results in a trucking accident.
People who have suffered a loss at the hands of negligent truck drivers may benefit from speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney. With their help, negligent actions such as violations in hours of service may be identified and used to help receive damages.