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Commercial drivers do have to obey special regulations

If a person is a commercial driver, he or she must abide by the hours of service regulations created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

What is a commercial vehicle?

A commercial vehicle is any vehicle over 10,001 pounds. If a vehicle has a gross weight of 10,001 pounds or more, it's also considered to be a commercial vehicle.

Commercial vehicles don't have to be semis. In fact, any vehicle designed to transport over 16 passengers not for compensation or nine or more passengers for compensation is also considered to be a commercial vehicle. Those transporting hazardous materials in an amount that requires a placard are also driving a commercial vehicle, regardless of size.

How many hours can a commercial driver work?

Drivers of these vehicles must have specialty licenses and may only work the hours allowed by law. Property-carrying drivers may work a maximum of 11 hours consecutively, while passenger-carrying drivers may only drive 10 hours consecutively. Property-carrying drivers must not work more than 14 hours a day including time not spent driving. Passenger-carrying drivers are able to work up to 15 hours a day but are not allowed to spend more ten of that driving.

Passenger-carrying drivers have a 60-hour, seven-day workweek limit. Or, if the person is employed for 8 consecutive days, he or she may work up to 70 hours total. In comparison, those carrying property only may drive with the same limits and may restate the seven- or eight-day workweek after taking 34 hours off in a row. While these regulations might seem intense, they help prevent drivers from getting behind the wheel when they're too tired to focus.

If you're hit by a truck driver who has disregarded these regulations, you're in a good position to make a claim. The drivers are supposed to uphold these regulations for your safety and their own.

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