Hours of Service Violations: Expertise of Houston Truck Wreck Attorney

Just like any other motorist, operators of large commercial trucks must adhere to laws designed to ensure safety for themselves and fellow road users. However, given the substantial size of commercial trucks and the demanding schedules typically endured by truck drivers, specific regulations limit their driving hours per day and week and mandate mandatory breaks. 

Regrettably, pressures such as tight deadlines and truck driver shortage may incentivize drivers to violate these regulations and extend their work hours beyond legal limits. According to our seasoned Houston truck wreck attorney, the HOS violations contravene the law and carry significant repercussions.

HOS Regulations 

  • A truck driver is allowed to drive for a maximum of eleven hours following a ten-hour off-duty period. 
  • They are not allowed to drive for more than fourteen consecutive hours after having ten straight hours off duty. Even if there’s an extended off-duty period, the fourteen-hour limit remains unchanged. 
  • They can only operate the vehicle if at most 8 hours have elapsed since the end of their last off-duty period or thirty-minute sleeper berth break. 
  • They are prohibited from driving for over sixty or seventy hours on duty within seven or eight consecutive days, respectively. 
  • However, if the truck driver has taken at least thirty-four hours off duty, the seven—or eight-consecutive-day cycle can reset.

The Importance of Hours of Service Regulations

The FMCSA’s Hours of Service regulations dictate the maximum time commercial truck drivers can spend behind the wheel without mandatory rest breaks. These rules are based on extensive research indicating the dangers of driver fatigue and its contribution to accidents on the road.

By mandating specific rest periods and limiting consecutive hours of driving, HOS regulations aim to mitigate the risk of fatigue-related incidents and promote safer driving practices among truck operators. Compliance with HOS regulations is a legal and moral obligation to protect public safety.

Typical Offenses 

Despite the clear directives, infringements of Hours of Service regulations persist within the trucking sector. Some of the most prevalent transgressions encompass:

  • Exceeding Driving Hours: This arises when drivers surpass the stipulated maximum hours of continuous driving without mandatory rest breaks.
  • Logbook Falsification: In a bid to conceal violations, certain drivers or carriers falsify their logbooks, distorting actual driving hours and rest periods.
  • Inadequate Record-Keeping: Proper record maintenance is imperative to ensure compliance with HOS regulations. Failure to uphold accurate records can lead to penalties and legal repercussions.
  • Pressure to Contravene HOS Regulations: In certain instances, drivers may encounter coercion from their employers to surpass HOS limits, fostering unsafe driving practices and escalating risks on the road.

These offenses only increase the risk of accidents- putting innocent lives in danger. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, hire an experienced Houston truck wreck attorney to seek justice. 

Legal Recourse for Victims of Trucking Accidents

In a truck accident caused by HOS violations, victims may face significant physical, emotional, and financial hardships. Seeking legal recourse is crucial for holding negligent parties accountable and obtaining the compensation needed for recovery.

A skilled Houston truck wreck attorney possesses the knowledge & experience to navigate the complexities of trucking accident cases involving HOS violations. They can conduct thorough investigations, gather evidence, and build compelling arguments to establish liability and secure rightful compensation for their clients.

Additionally, an attorney experienced in trucking litigation understands the nuances of federal regulations governing the industry, including HOS requirements. This knowledge allows them to identify non-compliance and leverage this information to strengthen their clients’ cases. 

Take Legal Action With a Truck Wreck Attorney

Contact our law office today at (713) 384-5507 to discuss your case with our experienced Houston truck wreck attorney. We work relentlessly for a favorable outcome and ensure justice is served.

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