In an effort to address some of the safety issues in the trucking industry, namely, drowsy driving car accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has introduced several hours of service rules (HOS). The rules have been enacted to protect commercial truck drivers, and others on the road, from drowsy driving accidents. On December 28, 2011, the FMCSA introduced a new provision called the 30-minute break rule, which requires truck drivers to take a 30-minute break after eight consecutive hours of driving.
The provision specifically applies to actual driving time, which means that drivers are not required to take a break after eight hours if some of that time was spent on non-driving tasks like fueling, loading, or unloading cargo. However, once a trucker has been driving for eight hours, he or she must take a 30-minute break, or they will receive an HOS violation.
The following facts provide additional information, as well as some provisions and exceptions to, the 30-minute rule:
To help log time more efficiently and improve safety, truckers are required to install electronic monitors that track their time. This will help avoid HOS violations, but not all truckers and fleet companies are thrilled about this new device. Many of the smaller carriers in particular feel that the cost to install and maintain the device is a financial burden. In addition, they are concerned about its impact on salaries.
Ultimately, the rule was put into place to ensure that truck drivers are not logging too many hours behind the wheel on too little sleep. Electronic monitors and smartphone apps like KeepTruckin are very user friendly, making it easy to log the mandatory 30-minute break. The app also notifies a truck driver if they are at risk of receiving an HOS violation.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, it is in your best interest to contact the experienced Middlesex County truck accident lawyers at Davis & Brusca, LLC. We will determine who is responsible for your injuries and seek the maximum financial compensation that you deserve. Protecting your rights is our top priority. To schedule a free consultation, do not hesitate to call us at 609-786-2540 or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Princeton and Trenton, New Jersey, where we represent clients throughout the state in Middlesex County, Essex County, Hudson County, Union County, Morris County, and Hunterdon County.