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What are the work restrictions on commercial drivers?

If you've been hit by a truck, the first thing you need to find out is if the driver was following the law and regulations surrounding commercial trucking. To avoid truck accidents, trucking regulations in the United States describe safety procedures that should always be followed. One of the major regulations discusses the hours of service providers can have, because without this regulation, the drivers could be on the road while tired and distracted. Most drivers with a commercial motor vehicle will have to follow these regulations.

Generally speaking, if the vehicle is over 10,001 pounds or is designed to transport between nine and 16 passengers or more for compensation, the vehicle will be classified as a commercial vehicle. With the Hours of Service Drivers Final Rule, the federal government defined how long drivers of these vehicles could work each day and during one week. The regulation have been in place since February 2012 but have been adjusted since with the latest update in 2013.

Here's a few things you should know. With a property-carrying driver, the driver has an 11-hour driving limit. That also means that after working for 11 hours, the driver must take off at least 10 hours for rest. If the driver is working to transfer passengers, there is a 10-hour limit in place and eight hours must be taken off between shifts.

In the last week, no driver must have worked over 60 hours. This regulation was added to cut down on those who would sleep the minimum amount of time or less before getting back behind the wheel.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Hours of Service," accessed June 24, 2015

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