September 4, 2015

Hours of Service Requirements: An Overview

Long haul truckers have strict requirements for the amount of time they can spend behind the wheel. Because big rigs are so much larger than passenger vehicles, they can cause serious injuries to innocent drivers. But because time is money in the trucking industry, some truckers or trucking companies push the limits of safety. If you have been struck by a tractor trailer in Portland or anywhere in Oregon, an experienced truck accident lawyer can review the hours of service log to make sure rules were followed. If they were not, the lawyer will aggressively fight to hold the responsible parties accountable.

Every trucker is required to accurately record the amount of time they spend behind the wheel, the amount of time resting, and the amount of time sleeping to ensure safety. A driver cannot spend more than 11 hours driving after taking a ten hour break. These 11 hours must be completed within a 14 hour window, at which point they must take another 10 hour break. Within that 11 hours of drive time, they driver must take a 30 minute break after 8 consecutive hours driving.

Truckers are also not allowed to drive more than 70 hours in any 8 day period. These days float, so a driver cannot hit 70 hours, then have the 8 day period reset. In other words, if the driver stars on a Saturday and the period ends on Sunday, the 70 hour requirement does not reset on Monday. On Monday, the hours for Saturday would drop off and the 8 day period would begin that previous Sunday. This ensures that truckers will take a few days off between hauling loads in order to give their bodies a chance to rest.

At Johnson Law, we have seen how devastating truck accidents can be for those in a passenger vehicle. The size disparity means that the car is going to take the brunt of the impact, resulting in catastrophic injuries for everyone involved. If you have been struck by a tractor trailer, contact a Portland truck accident lawyer at Johnson Law today for a free consultation.

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